Always give God priority

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE can never overemphasize this need. When our relation with God is not strong, deep and abiding, there would be no other way than for us to get into some trouble sooner or later. We have to be wary of the clear and present danger of letting something else to replace God as the Number One priority in our life.

We have to do everything to fuel our need to put God always on top. The ideal that we should always try to pursue is that in our every thought, intention, word and deed, God should be the primary and ultimate object. This definitely will not be an exercise of fanaticism or rigidity as some people may suspect. Rather this how we would attain all the good that is meant for us.

We are reminded of this truth of our faith in the readings of the Mass for Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent. (cfr. Dan 3,14-20.91-92.95 / Dan 3, / Jn 8,31-42) The first reading talks about how a king mocked the God of 3 young men who refused to worship his god, and threw them into a burning furnace only to observe that these young men were not burned. That was when the king realized their God was the true God.

The responsorial psalm presents a series of praises we ought to give God. We should make time to develop the habit of praising God because only then would we put ourselves in the proper frame of mind with respect to our abiding relationship with God. Let’s be wary of taking these exercises for granted.

The gospel simply reiterates the fact that only in God through Christ can we have the whole truth that brings us the real freedom and all the other good things meant for us. So, we should make no mistake about this. Only in Christ can we find true freedom. Everything else can only give us, at best, apparent freedom that in the end can only put us into some bondage, if not destroy us.

The reason for this is that Christ, as the son of God and the pattern of our humanity, is the fullness of everything that is objectively true, good and beautiful for us. He is also the one that provides us with the power to do what is good for us, since freedom is mainly about freedom to do what is good.

And since freedom is not only about freedom to do what is good but also freedom from whatever evil can hound and tie us down, Christ also perfectly fits that requirement because as our redeemer, Christ liberates us from all evil that can come to us, namely, our natural limitations, our weaknesses, temptations, sins and death itself.

We need to understand this truth of our faith well, because nowadays it is very easy to be confused about where to find freedom and how freedom should be. That’s because all sorts of ideas promoted by all kinds of ideologies and spread by powerful groups have been flooding the world.

We need to promote the real freedom that is offered to us by Christ. We have to preach about it, in season and out of season, and explain it thoroughly, using arguments that are adapted to the different mentalities and cultures of the people.

We need to make everyone understand that true freedom broadens our mind, expands our heart so as to accommodate everyone the way he is, without forgetting how he ought to be, as well as everything else in life. True freedom is what love is all about.