Following Christ all the way

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

Chaplain

Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)

Talamban, Cebu City

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

IF we really are serious in following Christ, we should set no conditions and, instead, open ourselves to whatever and wherever God’s providence would lead us.

This is a truth of our faith that is highlighted in that gospel episode where a scribe wanted to follow Christ who told him what following Christ would involve: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests,” he said, “but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Mt 8,20)

And another disciple, already a follower of Christ, told him: “Lord suffer me first to go and bury my father,” to which Christ told him, “Follow me, and the let the dead bury their dead.” (Mt 8,21-22)

This episode may give us the impression that Christ is unreasonable and even inhuman. But if we really know who Christ is, there should be no reason for us to doubt the constant love, care and affection he has for everyone, including those who may be at odds with him.

We should just rev up our faith in God and trust his all-powerful providence that knows how to take care of everything. We may not understand his ways, but that should not be a surprise, since as God told us in the Book of Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your way, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (55,8-9)

We have to be ready for wherever divine providence would take us. We have to be open to it all the time. Even as we make our plans and pursue them truly as our own, we should not forget that nothing in our life is actually outside the providence of God who can adapt himself to us, even in our worst situations and predicaments, and still lead us to himself.

The only thing to remember is that God is always around and is actually intervening and directing our life to him. That is part of his omnipotence which he exercises both from all eternity and in time since our creation and all the way to the end of time.

We have to be ready for wherever God’s providence would take us because God leads us in very mysterious ways. Remember what Christ told Peter: “When you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (Jn 21,18)

There will be things in our life that will be beyond our human notice, and much less, our human control. We have to trust God’s providence even if things look terrible, impossible, or inhuman when judged simply by human standards.

Let us remember the story of Abraham who was asked to offer his only son, Isaac, in sacrifice to God. That trust Abraham had in God’s will won him the privilege of being the father of all nations. God always has a purpose for everything that happens in our life, or can derive good from whatever evil we commit.

There are actually many mysteries in our life that can surpass our capacity to comprehend and, much less, to cope with, including extreme evil. But let’s always remember that where sin or evil has abounded, the grace of God has abounded even more. (cfr. Rom 5,20)

In short, we should just follow Christ all the way whatever the cost!

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