Whether you consider yourself a child of God or not, we all possess a common characteristic often overlooked; we are neophytes to the world around us. How you and I are raised in this world will depend on the intention of our parents and their view of the world and how they hand it down to us. As infant budding neophytes, we rely entirely on the intention and parental goodwill of our parents or caregivers to care for us physically and spiritually, which encompasses our mental, emotional, and psychological well-being.
The Apostle to the Gentiles St. Paul provides us with an example of how he engaged and cared for the early Christian neophytes by recounting the salvific acts of Jesus Christ:
He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything, he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
St. Paul’s encounter with the Colossians reveals an intent by St. Paul to help the faithful understand the origin and identity of their new Christian faith and how they are to engage their faith with the whole world actively. He provides them with a path to understand what Jesus asks and requires of them.
Our daily living
With St. Paul as a backdrop, it can be argued that our ability to understand the world around us relies on what we experience with our bodies, what we know with our minds, and how we choose to love those around us. These human pillars are intimately tied to our ability to move from our identity as neophytes to active adults engaged in the world.
The distinction of our daily living becomes more compelling when engaged in a Christian worldview where our daily communication with the world no longer encompasses a conversation with God and our ability to discern what God desires of us while on this earth. When the avowed Atheist Alexis Carrel witnessed two miraculous cures at Lourdes that led to his reconciliation with God, he said the following:
“I want nothing for myself if not your grace. I want to be in your hands like smoke carried by the wind . . . Every minute of my life, Lord, will be devoted to your service. In the darkness, where I cannot see, I will incessantly look for you . . . Though blind, I will try to follow you, Lord, Show me the way.”
The example of Alexis Carrel demonstrates how the experience of the body, mind, and heart can greatly affect the person and, in effect, change the person’s spiritual attitude and worldview. The example of this spiritual progression provides us with a spiritual framework where God calls us to seek Him and ultimately leads us to ask him the question, “What do you want of me, Lord?”
St. Augustine provides us with a prayer of trustful surrender where the heart of the just man will rejoice in the Lord;
“The just man will rejoice in the Lord and put his hope in him; the hearts of all good men will be filled with joy. We must surely have sung these words with our hearts as well as with our voices. Indeed, the tongue of the Christian expresses his deepest feelings when it addresses such words to God. The just man will rejoice, not in the world, but in the Lord. Light has dawned for the just, Scripture says in another place, and joy for the upright of heart. Were you wondering what reason he has for joy? Here you are told: The just man will rejoice in the Lord.
What are we instructed to do then, and what are we enabled to do? To rejoice in the Lord. But who can rejoice in something he does not see? Am I suggesting that we see the Lord then? No, but we have been promised that we shall see him. Now, as long as we are in the body, we walk by faith, for we are absent from the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight. When will it be by sight? Beloved, says John, we are now the sons of God; what we shall be has not yet been revealed, but we know that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is. When this prophecy is fulfilled, then it will be by sight.
That will be the great joy, the supreme joy, joy in all its fullness. Then we shall no longer drink the milk of hope, but we shall feed on the reality itself. Nevertheless, even now, before that vision comes to us, or before we come to that vision, let us rejoice in the Lord; for it is no small reason for rejoicing to have a hope that will someday be fulfilled.”
What does God want of you and me; a trustful surrender to his will as revealed through the Son Jesus Christ.
 Col 1:15-23