Know Your Christ 

By Father (Dr) Shailendra Rodrigues IMS

St Pauls- 58/23rd Road, TPS III, Bandra West, Mumbai 400 050, India; ISBN 978-93-92340-89-5 / Pp 224 / Rs 250

It is said that one's place in Heaven depends on the space God occupies in one's heart. However, for God to occupy place in one's heart, one must know and understand Him. That's where KNOW YOUR CHRIST comes in.

Reading the life of Christ so as to be able to sincerely welcome Him into one's heart is like approaching the horizon. The closer you reach, the farther you find the horizon! Similarly, any effort at knowing Christ more will lead to the realisation that there is much more yet to be discovered than we will ever know. A life story that has no 'full stop', but 'ellipsis', the 'more' dimension of Christ's life remains unexplored. It is in this context that Father (Dr) Shailendra Rodrigues IMS uses the KYC [Know Your Client] route to familiarise the reader with the reality of a Christ who would otherwise remain elusive to the intellect. And what better way than exploring the various self-identification assertions in Scripture to the hilt! KNOW YOUR CHRIST is the result of the author's single-minded effort in this regard.

Essentially, the driving force across the entire spectrum of the Bible is the prime question: Who is God? God, for His part, introduces Himself for the first time ever in Exodus as: I AM WHO I AM—a name so sacred to Judaism as to never be uttered, a name that encompasses and signifies all that God is,  and how we are to relate to Him. In time, He reveals Himself in and through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ who, using "I AMs", explains exactly who He is and who God is. KNOW YOUR CHRIST enables the reader to grasp the very essence of the Christ of the Bible through His explicit 'I am' statements such as: I am the Ecologist, I am the Economist, I am the Mind Reader, I am the Culture Transformer, I am the Lord of Time and so on.

Essentially, too, with the kind of presentation offered herein to get the reader to know Christ by way of drawing attention to His vast range of I AM statements, the author himself comes through as an original thinker. Indeed, with the line between the need of laypeople and that of those in religion for really knowing and understanding Jesus becoming increasingly blurred, Rodrigues' reflections in KNOW YOUR CHRIST have a dynamism that cannot but go far in imbuing one's sense of Baptismal consecration with a sense of vision.

A priest of the Indian Missionary Society, Rodrigues brings to the simple and humble of God—and that includes students of Philosophy at the Saint Pius X College in Mumbai—his boundless love for the Word of God. He puts it very succinctly when he says, "Jesus is the Word who shook and shocked, transformed and reformed the world" (p. 94). He is of the opinion that anyone who takes time to read and reflect on the inner dynamics of God's Word in relation to the many revelatory statements in KNOW YOUR CHRIST may find the bounty of a magnanimous God hidden in the simple events of a life lived humbly. Bringing his vast experience in the Missions and communities to bear on the contents of the book, he creatively uplifts people with the Spirit of God, enhancing their love for God's Word in the process. 

An ideal resource book, KNOW YOUR CHRIST is an astute revealer of the deep-rooted threads of Christian life twined into a rope to bring about unity in religious fraternity. The reading of this book is thus strongly recommended to people from all walks of life, most specifically to those who desire to develop the indelible image of God in them.