Keeping the Most Important Thing the Most Important Thing
I first heard it from speaker John Findlater: “The most important thing is to keep the most important thing, the most important thing.” The most important thing for us as a Church of course is Jesus.
One could easily argue that for centuries too much emphasis was paid to the institutional nature of the Church. The Church is still perceived this way today. Jesus, the living head of the Church is cut off leaving nothing but the lifeless body. Of course, Jesus has never really been cut off from the Church, we just haven’t paid the kind of attention to Him we should, and we increasingly live in a world that discounts him entirely.
You could say our Church has been working on this since Vatican II. The council itself was very “Christo-centric,” placing significant emphasis on the person of Jesus Christ. (Some would argue it does so at the expense of the Father and Holy Spirit, but that’s a different discussion.)
John Paul II continued re-focusing us on Christ throughout his pontificate. His call for the “New Evangelization” and the Theology of the Body are just two examples where this effort is plain to see. In the Christ-centered spirit of the Council, Catholic high schools and many parish faith formation programs have begun implementing a theology curriculum outlined by the U.S. Catholic bishops that very much revolves around the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the heart and center of who we are and what we do not just as Catholics, but as human beings. As JPII reminds us, “Christ fully reveals man to himself.” If we want to know who we really are both individually and as a Church, we need to know Jesus.
The most important aspect of keeping Jesus at the center of our lives as Catholics, and a regular theme of Pope Benedict’s writings, is developing a personal relationship with Him. Everything we do as Catholics: the Eucharist, working with the poor, even fish fries, leads to and flows from this relationship.
May we remain focused on Jesus and His saving gospel—keeping the most important thing the most important thing.