Everything starts with God’s love

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS is very fundamental and indispensable for us to know. Otherwise, we would have a wrong idea of what our life is all about. God loves us first before we learn to love him and everybody and everything else in return. Thus, we need to know what that divine love involves and, more, to feel it so that we would know how to love properly.

That’s because, in the end, everything that happens in our life and everything that we do, from our thoughts, intentions, words and deeds, should be ruled by the law of this divine love. After all, our very existence is the fruit of the love of God, and it is also this divine love that is the origin and goal of our life.

This divine love should urge us to respond with a most generous self-giving that is done without any calculation. That’s because that’s the way God loves us, and how God loves us should also be how we should love him and others in return. Love is always repaid with love.

That God loves us so much is due to the fact that we are his very image and likeness. We are meant to share his life and nature. We can say that how God loves his own self is also how he loves us. That’s how important we are to him.

That is why in the Psalms, there is an expression about the great wonder why God loves us much. “What is man that you are mindful of him, human beings that you care for them?” (8,4)

This love of God for us covers everyone, irrespective of how we are. He does not reject the sinners. In fact, it’s them that he shows a special kind of love. In the gospel, we see Christ looking after tax collectors, he listened to the good thief who was crucified with him and promised heaven to him, he showed mercy to the woman caught in adultery, etc.

Of course, God does not love sin itself. He loves the sinner, but not the sin. What he desires is our conversion and invites us to it. That is why it is good that we always look at his loving and merciful care for us. He is not one who is hell-bent to punish us for our sins. If he gives us some form of punishment, it is for us to be more cleansed and to put us in a better condition to love God and others in return.

On our part, the sorrow we feel because of our guilt should not just be a matter of feeling dirty or weak or fragile. Rather it should be an expression of how good God is to us and of how our sins actually pain us. Our contrition, weaknesses and failures should be converted into a motive to unite ourselves more with God to seek his mercy.

What we ought to do is to go immediately to God and to refer things to him. He will be the one to reassure us that everything will just be fine. Nothing happens without him knowing and allowing it to happen. And if he allows it to happen, it is because there is a greater good that can be derived from it. In God’s math, the gains far outweigh the losses.

Of course, what this greater good is can escape our understanding, given our limitations. And that’s why we have to activate our faith. Otherwise, we would confine ourselves to our own limited understanding of things that can make us suffer unnecessarily.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com


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