The rather simple question that forms the title of this reflection has very far-reaching elements to it that are not so evident at first reading. For example, there is the assumption that the person knows how to get to know Jesus and is committed to that process. This becomes particularly relevant when we reflect upon the lives of the saints, as these are the men and women who have come to know Jesus the most. Philip and James have a head start on us as they were privileged enough to walk along side Jesus for a number of years during Jesus’ time of ministry. How do we compensate for our lack of opportunity in this regard?
I am sorry to have to say that the only compensation requires a commitment, just as it did with James and Philip, to spend many hours every week with Jesus – not physically with Him as in the cases of Philip and James – but spiritually in prayer and reading the Word of God. Our commitment to knowing Jesus will be directly proportional to our commitment to spending time with Him every day in prayer and Scripture reading and study. Note please, that it is not directly proportional to the amount of time; it is quality, not quantity that counts!
Philip and James got to know Jesus well because they spent quality time with Him listening to His words and allowing their hearts and minds to be formed in His ways. Too often today I hear Christians say that it is enough to ‘log in’ with god at the beginning of the day and try to have a general appreciation of His presence during the day. This is not enough!
Getting to know someone is hard work and it takes time and effort. It is not enough to just be aware of the existence of the person around and about your life. We must expend the effort to discover their likes and dislikes and learn to fit in with one another. The major difference with Jesus is, generally speaking, that it is we who have to do most, if not all, of the fitting in! We very quickly discover that it is we who have to change and not Jesus.
At what level is my commitment to prayer and Scripture reading? Does it compare well with my commitment to having fun or doing my job or my other relationships? How can I improve my life in this area?
Holy Spirit, you epitomize the love between the Father and the Son, yet are a Person in your own right. Help me to be committed to growing in relationship with God so that my love for God and all people will increase.