Claiming the Identity of Jesus from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey

When we think about Jesus as that exceptional, unusual person who lived long ago and whose life and words continue to inspire us, we might avoid the realisation that Jesus wants us to be like him.  Jesus himself keeps saying in many ways that he, the Beloved Child of God, came to reveal to us that we too are God’s beloved children, loved with the same unconditional divine love.

John writes to his people:  “You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children – which is what we are.”  (1 John 3:1).   This is the great challenge of the spiritual life:  to claim the identity of Jesus for ourselves and to say:  “We are the living Christ today!”

For further reflection …

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught [Peter].  “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14: 31 (NIV)


“So many Christian mystics talk about falling in love with the face of Jesus. The mystical encounter is not just cerebral, analytic, or morally correct; it actually is an I-Thou encounter….through faces. …there have been moments in my life with a confessor where I have come in hating myself. When I dared to look up at the face of the confessor, [he was] smiling at me–giving me the face that I couldn’t give myself.

…people or creatures show you your own belovedness. Only then are you prepared to pass the mystery on. You can only give away what you have received, and in fact you must pass it on or you cannot and will not keep it.”

from Richard Rohr, Franciscan Mysticism: I Am That Which I am Seeking, disc 3