By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
I WAS very moved and impressed when a young man, now rising in his profession, said that he accepts whatever God has given him or has allowed to happen to him.
An illegitimate son, he holds no resentment or grudge against his father who practically neglected him in his growing up years because the father also had some personal demons to contend with. Nor is he ashamed to publicly tell everyone that he is the son of such a father. In fact, now that the father is very sickly, he reaches out to his father and takes care of him, especially because he is now a doctor.
We can learn great lessons from this episode. Yes, we may be victims of some misfortune, natural or man-made, but if our mind and heart are in the right place, that is to say, they are with God, we know that everything will always work out for the good. There’s no reason to feel bad and to fall into worse cases of self-pity, anger and bitterness, hatred and desires for revenge, etc.
With God, everything is taken care of. What we cannot take care of, God will do it for us. Of course, God’s ways are not our ways. They may differ greatly from what we like to happen, but definitelyGod will take care of everything. He will solve, complete and perfect what we cannot anymore solve, complete and perfect. Nothing is impossible with him. We should just trust him.
This reassurance has been revealed to us by Christ himself. He was willing to offer his life for our sins and for whatever misfortunes we can suffer in this life. And he conquered them all with his resurrection. If all our misfortunes are suffered with christ, we for sure will also take part in the resurrection of Christ.
Before Christ’s supreme act of love to take care of everything and to save us and to bring us back to God, we already have been reassured of this wonderful truth of God taking care of everything with the example of Job who was severely tested by all kinds of trials and misfortunes. But with his strong faith in God, he stood his ground and in the end was amply rewarded by God.
We need to toughen ourselves and cling tightly to what our faith tells us whenever we suffer some kind of misfortune in this life. For this, we have nothing else to do but to try our best, always asking for God’s grace, to assume the mind of Christ with respect to his suffering and death.
Like Christ, we should be magnanimous, always offering kindness, compassion and mercy to those who may cause us some misfortunes, even the life-long types. Like Christ, we should try to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Let us have the kind of love that Christ himself commanded us to have: to love one another as he himself has loved us. (cfr. Jn 13,34)
St. Paul described this love in this way: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor 13,4-8)
It is this love that conquers everything, that identifies us with Christ, with God. It is what enables us to happily accept whatever God gives us or allows to happen to us, good or bad in human terms.
Let us try to always and immediately remove anything that negates this kind of love. Let’s put all our trust in God, and let’s just be game with whatever situation, predicament, or misfortune we can have in this life.