By Fr. Roy Cimagala
ONCE again, Christ uses a parable to impart to us the great truth of our Christian faith that we are meant to be in heaven, with God for all eternity where our definitive state of life is a sharing in the very life and nature of God himself, by whom we have been created in his image and likeness.
In the gospel reading of the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, the Kingdom of heaven is likened to a king who invited his guests to a wedding feast, but those invited snubbed the invitation. (cfr. Mt 22,1-14)
The parable is an image of a common unfortunate phenomenon of many of us who prefer to pursue our ultimate joy in our temporal affairs—our work, our business, our politics, etc.—instead of giving our all to reach our real definitive home which is heaven with God. Many of us are trapped in our worldly concerns, failing to relate these affairs and concerns to our real ultimate goal in life.
A quick survey would readily reveal that many hardly have any abiding longing for heaven. What many are most interested in is money, worldly power and fame. The idea of success, or of “having arrived,” is pegged in these worldly standards and categories. Many fail to consider our temporal activities and conditions as means or occasions or instruments to pursue our real goal.
There is indeed a need to clarify this very basic aspect of our life here on earth. Our earthly life is meant to see if what God wants us to be—that is, to be his image and likeness, to be sharers of his life and nature—is also what we would want ourselves to be.
To put it bluntly, every event in our life is actually a choice we have to make—whether we want to be with God to be like him or we want to be simply by ourselves. But, alas, how many make God as the be-all and end-all of our life. Many of us prefer to get stuck with our gadgets, with our businesses and politics, etc., without relating them to God.
We have to enter the spirit of true love which St. Augustine described with these words: “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him the greatest achievement.”
But how can we know and love God? To be sure, everything has been given to us so that we can truly know and love God although we cannot fully comprehend him, since he infinitely above our nature.
In the end, we are given no one less than Christ himself who as God who became man, offers us “the way, the truth and the life” proper to us. For this purpose, he went all the way to offer his life on the cross as his way of assuming all our sins and stupidities and conquering them with his resurrection. It’s all up to us to accept his offer of love and mercy.
Let’s remember that moments before he died on the cross, he said these words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23,34) And besides, he makes himself very available in the many instrumentalities of the Church—the doctrine of our faith, the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, the inspiring witness of many holy men and women, etc.
God is madly in love with us, because he treats us as his children. Let’s try to correspond to that love by loving him in return with all that we have got!