By Fr. Roy Cimagala
OUR Christian faith tells us that we are meant to share the same life and nature of God in whose image and likeness we have been created. That is why we are all called to be holy as God is holy, as well as to love everybody as God is all love. This love for everybody is expressed in doing apostolate which we have to understand as meant for all of us. Yes, we are all meant to be apostles also in our own way.
We are somehow reminded of these truths of our faith in that gospel episode where Christ, after choosing his apostles in some random way, gave the tremendous powers, a sharing in the powers of Christ himself. “Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Lk 9,1)
We have to be most aware of what we all have in our hands. We may feel unworthy of all this, as we should, but the undeniable truth is that Christ is sharing his powers with us. Let us do our part in corresponding to this stupendous truth of our faith.
And the only way to do that is give our all to God. Let us be generous and magnanimous as God is overwhelmingly generous and magnanimous to all of us. There has to be that mutual dynamic of love and self-giving that has been initiated by God himself. God loves us first, and we have to learn to love him in return, a love that is also expressed in loving everybody just as God loves everybody irrespective of how they are!
This is a call to generosity. “Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give,” Christ told us. (Mt 10,8) Christ himself embodied this principle when he, being God, became man, and not contented with that, he went to the extent of offering his life to conquer all our sins. He finally gave himself to us in the sacraments, especially in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is a real madness of love.
Everyday, let us grow in our identification with Christ. Let’s hope that slowly but steadily we can feel the conviction that we are becoming “other Christ” (alter Christus), if not “Christ himself” (ipse Christus).
Let’s not be afraid of the effort and the sacrifices involved in this process. It will all be worthwhile. If we truly try to identify ourselves with Christ, we would be confident that Christ himself would give us the same peace and joy that he had as he went through his own passion and death on the cross.
We are, of course, aware of our limitations and many times we have to say enough. And that’s good to do. It shows we are humble and realistic enough to acknowledge them.
But there’s one area in our life where we should never say enough. And that’s in our spiritual life, in our duty to love God and others as Christ himself has loved us, that is, all the way to death on the cross.
The duty itself of loving knows no bounds. As St. Francis de Sales said, “The measure of love is to love without measure.” And we might ask, is this possible, is this doable?
The answer, of course, is yes. In the first place, there is in us a spiritual capacity that would lead us to the world of the spiritual and supernatural, the world of the infinite.