But many people today are blind to the awesomeness of Jesus’ Divine Brilliance, so it’s not a surprise that many people are casual in their faith.
It’s easy for people to miss just how awesome Jesus Christ is because of the difficulty in understanding what is happening in the historical context of the Gospels and being able to relate the events of the Gospel to modern times.
Here is one way to begin to open one’s self up to cooperate with the Grace of Christ and re-ignite one’s hunger for faith: Begin to read scripture with the belief and intent to see the awesomeness of Jesus.
“Only Jesus is Awesome” – Here is a three step process to grow in awe of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Step 1 – Start with the mindset that “Only Jesus is Awesome”
Many people have become lukewarm in their faith. They are Casual Catholics, casual about their faith, casual about their faith practices and casual about their morality. It is quite easy (Satan likes it that way) to slip into ‘Casualness’ in the modern Secular society that promotes the “evil twins of secularism”: pluralism (every culture/people/sect has their own truth) and relativism (no culture/people/sect has truth). You might notice that these concepts are self-canceling (i.e. if some things are true, then there must be truth; if nothing is true, then no one can have truth), but these arguments have been very effective weapons for an atheists to to argue against Truth.
Of course, Catholics believe/know that there is absolute Truth, because Jesus Christ is Truth (John 14:6) and the Catholic Church lovingly and perfectly protects and teaches that Truth for all generations through the Magisterium (CCC 77, 88).
Somewhere along the way, the real Jesus has not be taught. He’s perhaps not been properly introduced, taught in conceptual or abstract forms, taught without ardor or lost in a ‘heap of Catholicism’. Or perhaps Jesus has been “downgraded”; many modern people make fun of Christ or try to discount His Divinity (e.g. “Sure, Jesus was a great teacher, but hey, there are a lot of great teachers”).
The core reason why so many people are Casual Catholics is that they haven’t truly met Jesus Christ and discovered the Truth. If Jesus is truly the Son of God, one can not help but be impressed. If you are not impressed, you have not yet truly met Jesus.
When people are Casual Catholics, they slip farther and farther into Sin rather than ascending with Grace towards Holiness. And that’s the huge danger: unrepentant Sin leads to eternal death! (CCC 1472).
To snap out of Casualness, people can make an act of the Will: to open up one’s mind to the idea that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that everything that Jesus does and says must demonstrate His Awesomeness.
Step 2 – Read Scripture with the intent of discovering the Awesomeness of Jesus
The Church teaches that Scripture accurately presents Jesus Christ without error (CCC 101-108). To understand Christ’s Divine Brilliance during the Incarnation, we can read the Gospels using a hermeneutic (a fancy theological word: a method for reading/interpreting scripture).
Here’s a hermeneutic to use to observe Jesus’ Divine Brilliance : Only Jesus is Awesome. By ‘awesome’, what’s meant it the meaning from the traditional etymology of the word. Awesome traces its meaning to “Awe” from the Greek, akhos meaning “pain, grief”, “dread mixed with veneration”. “Awesome” means to be “profoundly reverential”.
Since Jesus is the Son of God, there should (and certainly is) evidence of God’s Divinity in almost every passage of the Gospel. What’s needed is to start with the idea (or more accurately, faith) that the ‘Awesomeness” of Jesus is there, it just needs to be understood.
To help understand scripture it is very important to read scripture with a true sense: history is full of heretical and confused individually driven interpretations; heretics continue to abound today, just turn on “Christian” television shows and you will quickly see evidence of the confusion. Build your faith life on the Rock, relying on the Catholic Church, a Church with 2000+ years of continuous true interpretation, guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.
For a lay person, reading Scripture using a proven Catholic study bible is key: AwedbyJesusChrist.com recommends “Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament – with notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch”. One can also look to strong bible studies like Jeff Cavin’s “Great Adventure Bible Series”, Dr. Tim Grey’s series on “1 Corinthians” or Dr. Edward Sri’s various books (e.g. Dawn of the Messiah). All of these resources can be found on the “Books” tab on this website.
Step 3 – Put Jesus’s Awesomeness in the 21st century context
After understanding what is occurring in the context of the historical times of Jesus and understanding why what He is saying and doing is ‘Awesome”, our awe increases as we put Jesus’ actions in our modern context through analogy. Here are some questions people can ask to help put Jesus’ actions in today’s context:
Seek to draw closer to Jesus Christ by acknowledging His Awesomeness and asking for Him to send the Holy Spirit into your heart and mind. For as you grow in awe of Jesus Christ, you will want to know Him and give yourself more completely to Him.
May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you!