By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THIS is the attitude to develop and to have if we are to be like God as we should, since we have been created in his image and likeness. We should not be reactive in extending help to others, waiting for them to give us some strong reasons to help them. Rather, we have to take the initiative. We are reminded of this truth of our faith in that gospel of St. John where it is said that:
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (Jn 3,16-17)
It’s undeniable, of course, that with the way we usually are, this standard is difficult if not impossible for us to achieve. But that’s the challenge we have to face. With God’s grace and our earnest efforts, we can hack it.
Let’s have the attitude of the brothers, James and John, who simply said, “Possumus,” that is, yes, we can, when Christ asked them if they were willing to drink of the cup Christ was to drink and to be baptized with which Christ was to be baptized, that is, to suffer and die with Christ. (cfr. Mk 10,39)
Let’s remember that what is impossible with us is always possible with Christ. Let’s just be game in reconciling ourselves with this very challenging aspect of Christian life. And let’s gradually develop the proper attitude and virtues. Actually, everyday we are given many opportunities to develop these attitude, practices and virtues.
This is what true love is all about. It is given gratuitously, without counting the cost nor expecting any reward. In fact, love is made more pure when instead of being rewarded for it, we get the opposite—we are misunderstood, ignored, maligned even.
In this regard, it helps that we become very mindful and thoughtful of the others. We need to be mindful because we have to know what’s going around us. We should never be aloof and indifferent. We have to be aware not only of things and events that are taking place, whether near or far, but also and most especially of persons, starting with the one right beside us.
In this way, we become active agents in the itinerary of our history as well as ministers of God in the very lives of people. We should not forget that our life is always tied to the lives of others, and that we too have a role to play in their lives, obviously in different ways and in varying degrees.
At least, when we are aware of our togetherness and are actively maintaining it, whatever good we have would always be shared by being multiplied, and whatever evil or misfortune we have would also be shared by being divided among us. That’s how things work.
And not only should we be mindful. We also need to be thoughtful. We should think ahead of how things are developing and of what we can do to help shape its evolution. Life is always a work in progress, and there are goals, the ultimate and the subordinate, to reach. We should not get stuck with the here and now.
We should learn to read the signs of the times and to prepare ourselves for whatever indications or warnings they are giving us. This way we put ourselves in condition to influence the flow of things, and to somehow already fashion the future, keeping always in mind the ultimate goal of mankind—our salvation.