How to enter God’s kingdom

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

CHRIST said it very clearly. “It is not anyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Mt 7,21)

Indeed, we always have to be open to God’s will and ways that oftentimes can be quite challenging and unattractive, since they demand everything from us. They require a lot of sacrifice. We just have to realize as quickly as possible that this is the language of real love. God gives us his all. We should also learn to give our all to him. As a saying goes: Love is repaid with love.

This truth of our faith is somehow highlighted when Christ gave this apparently harsh response to somehow who expressed his desire to follow him. “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (Mt 8,20)

When we truly love and follow Christ, we would have complete trust in his will and ways, regardless of the cost it asks of us. We know that his providence never fails. And the unavoidable suffering we can encounter along the way are actually golden occasions for us to learn some precious lessons, to grow in some virtues, and in the end to make ourselves more and more like Christ which is actually the purpose of our life here on earth.

We should just be ready for wherever God’s 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.

Let’s always remember that God’s will is the source of everything in the universe. The whole of creation in all its existence, unity, truth, goodness and beauty starts from God’s will and is maintained by it. The entire range and scope of reality—be it material or spiritual, natural or supernatural, temporal or eternal—is “contained” there, not only theoretically but in vivo.

The task of looking, knowing and loving the divine will, therefore, has to be made more known by us, because we tend to simply have a superficial knowledge of God, restricting him to some sentimental considerations or to some images we form of him in our mind. Hardly would we get to know what he wants us to do in any given moment, if we are mainly guided by sentimental considerations and visual or conceptual images of him.

Getting to know and do God’s will is what actually would comprise the very substance of our relationship with him. That’s simply because that is what love is all about, what it entails, which is the very essence of God, as St. John affirmed (Deus caritas est). Love is deeds and not just sweet words or feelings. Real love is deeds done to correspond to God’s will for us.

We need to develop the proper attitude toward God’s will. We should first be aware that there’s such thing as God’s will, and not just God’s image. We should cultivate the desire to know, love and obey it until we can make as our own Christ’s very attitude toward his Father’s will, “Not my will, but yours be done,” and Mary’s words, “Be it done to me according to your word.”

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

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