By Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE are somehow reminded of this kind of behavior in that gospel episode where Christ told the leper whom he just cured to “tell no one anything,” but to rather show himself to the priest and to offer what Moses prescribed for his cleansing. (cfr. Mk 1,40-45) We know how that episode ended. The cleansed leper could not help but publicize what happened to him such that Christ could not anymore enter a town openly.
It’s worthwhile to take serious note of this indication of Christ to the leper especially nowadays when we, as Christians trying our best to do a lot of good, have to contend with a certain dilemma of spreading the good news, doing a lot of apostolate, reaching out to all kinds of people, making use of powerful means of communication, and yet seeing to it that we avoid falling into the danger of vanity, pride and the like.
Yes, these days, we are encouraged to be good and effective influencers in the social media, and yet we need to realize that it should be Christ who should shine out, not us. If after some interventions in the social media and other public fora, it would be us who the people remember rather than Christ, we would be doing things wrongly.
Sad to say, this is what is widely happening these days. Many social media influencers, including priests, seem to make themselves more popular than Christ. And they employ methods that pander more on people’s weaknesses and on what the people like to hear rather than on what the people need to know and learn according to the teaching and example of Christ.
Obviously, these influencers should know how to connect with the people effectively. And for this reason, they have to adapt themselves to the way people think and are. But this should not compromise the real purpose of their being influencers. This can be a very tricky and challenging task, but if approached with good intentions, can attract a lot of grace from God.
There is need for one to make regular review and examination of conscience to see how things are going since this business of doing a lot of good while passing unnoticed so that Christ alone would shine involves many exercises in trial and error. Definitely, there will be things that need to be corrected, modified, changed, etc. along the way.
All this would surely require of anyone to have purity of intention and to rectify it every time it gets diluted with something that smacks of self-indulgence, instead of doing things for the glory of God and the good of everybody.
Yes, we need to be most careful in handling our intentions. They play a strategic role in our life, for how and where we direct them would determine whether we want to be with God and simply with our own selves.
Our intentions express who and where in the end we want to be. Do we choose God, or do we simply choose ourselves, or the world in general? It’s actually a choice between good and evil.
Even if we are not aware, or refuse to be aware, of this choice, which is usually the case, the choice between God and us, between good and evil is always made with every human act we do.
We need to realize then that we have to take utmost care of our intention, making it as explicit as possible, and honing it to get engaged with its proper and ultimate object who is God.