By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force.” (Mt 11,12)
With these words, Christ is actually telling us that we have to be forceful and determined in following the will of God who wants us to be his image and likeness, children of his, and sharers of his divine life.
And the season of Advent is a good time to develop this burning desire to be with Christ. Actually, more than just being with Christ, we are supposed to be like Christ, to be “another Christ” himself. That’s what God wants us to be. That’s how we become God’s image and likeness, children of his.
We have to develop an abiding and burning desire to fulfill the real purpose of our life which is precisely for us to be “another Christ.” We should be clear about this ultimate purpose of ours so we can have the proper sense of direction and focus in our life, and the corresponding urge to fulfill it.
Our problem is that we often take our life’s real and ultimate purpose for granted, preferring to sway and dance according to the music played simply by worldly conditions. We prefer to be guided by our senses and emotions, or by our reasoning alone as expressed in our man-made different ideologies, philosophies, sciences and technologies, etc.
We ignore the guiding light of our Christian faith that gives us not only a global picture of things but also the means to attain our true goal of eternal life with God in heaven. We have to remember that our Christian faith shows us the ultimate dimensions and purpose of our life that definitely includes the spiritual and supernatural realities.
We often fail to realize that our earthly life is a voyage of faith in time that is heading towards the eternity of God. This predicament has to be resolved, and the earlier the better—of course, with due consideration to the readiness of each one of us to appreciate the value of our Christian faith, something that has to be worked on.
In this regard, the first thing to do is to look at the example of Christ who is “the way, the truth and the life” for us. On several occasions, Christ would say that what he was doing was in fulfillment of what the prophets of old, the advance proclaimers of God’s will for Christ and for all of us, said. (cfr. Mt 26,54.56; Mk 14,49; Lk 18,31; etc.)
For this, we need to exert some forcefulness. Not destructive violence, not pervert obsession, but a certain forcefulness that helps us to grow properly and love God and care for one another. That´s what we need. This is clear in our human and natural conditions, both in our personal and social aspects. And if we have to consider our ultimate supernatural goal, then this forcefulness becomes even more necessary.
We have to follow the example of Christ. In fact, we have to assume the same mind and mission of Christ. It’s clear that Christ already had in his mind that he had to follow and fulfill a purpose and a mission already spelled out for him beforehand. This should also be the mentality we ought to have. We have a purpose and mission already spelled out for us beforehand, and we should do our best, with God’s grace, to fulfill it.
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