Do Catholics "Know" Jesus?

To know Jesus is a process similar to knowing your husband or wife, child, or friend. The question "Do you know Jesus?" can imply you've reached a plateau where you know all. That's unrealistic. You never know a person fully. Knowledge of a person is an unending quest. An infant knows his or her mother, a child knows a friend, a teenager knows the girl he feels undying love for, newlyweds profess deep knowledge of each other, a couple celebrating fifty years of marriage say they know each other. Each of these people does know the other person, yet in an incomplete way. Experience and time allow relationships to grow deeper.

So it is with our knowledge of Jesus. Yes, we may know Him and experience Him at one stage in our lives, but we must always be open to a more profound knowledge.

Certainly, Catholics know Jesus. The challenge is to know Him more and more. Be careful when you quiz people about their knowledge of Jesus. I have learned to be nonjudgmental when I evaluate another person's relationship with God.

How do you personally respond to the question, "Do you know Jesus?" I am peeved. Initially I become very defensive and want to prove how I have totally surrendered myself to Jesus through my prayer life, my daily celebration of the Lord's Word and Sacrament at the Eucharist, my vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience, and . . . Then I relax and thank the Lord that I'm ultimately answerable to Him and to no human being.

For me, and I believe most Catholics, the question, "Do you know Jesus?" is usually painfully arrogant and alienating.

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