Guarding against infidelity

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

LET’S not deny it. It’s a fact of life, as obvious as the noonday sun. We all have a strong tendency to be unfaithful to any commitment we make to others, and especially to God.

If our first parents, still in the state of original justice when they enjoyed all kinds of divine gifts, managed to sin, who are we to think that we can manage to avoid sinning and be faithful to God and others? We should always be aware of this danger and work on how to be properly guarded against it.

We are reminded of this danger in that gospel reading of the Mass on Monday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time where Christ told his disciples about a man who planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants who later on refused to give the owner his due, even going to the extent of killing not only the messengers of the owner but also the son himself of the owner (cfr. Mk 12,1-12)

And we are given a clear idea of how to handle this danger in the first reading of the Mass of that day. (cfr. 2 Pt 1,2-7) Here St. Peter tells us that we can have grace, peace, and all things that work for godliness through the “knowledge of God and of Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In short, we are told that to guard against this danger of infidelity, we should always follow Christ who was ever faithful to the will of the Father in spite of the tremendous difficulties he had to face to carry out that will.

We should just try our best to be always with Christ who actually makes himself abundantly available to us. He is actually in all things we handle in our daily tasks. All we have to do is to be aware of him, avoiding being swallowed up by some technical or earthly considerations which in themselves should not be an obstacle in our relation with Christ but rather a means to get to Christ.

This would require of us to truly sharpen our rectitude of intention, because we cannot deny that there are many good and legitimate things we can do today or get involved in, and yet they may not be for the glory of God, which is how all our human acts should work on, but rather for our human glory or for sheer self-indulgence.

We truly need to continually examine ourselves to see if our intentions are really for God or simply for ourselves. As we all know, the distinction can be very tricky, given the many good options presented before us and the most subtle play of the motivations we have in our human acts. We need to observe the proper priorities of things.

We have 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. Only then can we be faithful to our commitments.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

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