By Fr. Roy Cimagala
CHRIST told his disciples to stay awake, that is, to be vigilant, and at the same time to be fruitful and productive, not idle and lazy. (cfr. Mt 24,42-51) It’s a call that is most relevant these days, given the very confusing times we are in.
We cannot deny that in spite of the many conveniences and amenities our new technologies offer us, we are actually thrown into an ocean of swirling elements, pushing and pulling us in every which way. To have focus is getting harder as distractions always get in the way. Many people do not know anymore what the proper priorities in life are.
And, of course, the sad effects and consequences are all so clearly shown. Many people are burned out. Cases of mental and psychological illness are growing. Addictions are increasing as many people do not know anymore how to be a master of their own lives.
We should always be vigilant, never letting our guard down. This is simply because we have enemies to contend with all the time. We should not be naïve about this. Our enemies start with our own selves, our own weakened flesh that will always lure us to do things against God’s will and against what is truly good for us.
Then we have the world with all its sinful attractions and temptations. And, of course, the devil himself. Never discount him. He’s always around, prowling like a lion looking for someone to devour. (cfr 1 Pt 5,8)
Without getting paranoid, we have to practice certain wariness while using and enjoying the many good things we have today. They can easily turn into sweet poisons. What we should rather do is never to lose touch with God.
Only then can we always remember the proper priorities in our life and live them. Only then can we be able to be a master of our own lives and be truly fruitful and productive.
Let us remember that in the Bible narrative of the creation of man, God told our first parents, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it,” (Gen 1,28) clearly outlining his mandate to them. It’s a mandate that continues to be repeated up to now. Christ himself said as much.
In his parable of the three servants (cfr Mr 25,14-30), a master clearly told each one to trade with the amount given to them. He was happy with the first two who gained as much as was given. But he was mad at the third one who did nothing with the amount given.
We have to realize that God has already given us everything that we need not only to survive but also to improve our lot that ultimately translates into realizing the fullness of our dignity as image and likeness of God, as children of his.
We should never forget the real purpose of our life here on earth, which is for us to forge our own identity as God’s image and likeness, children of his, meant to share in his divine life and nature while immersed in the things of this world.
We can only do that if we always have in mind our duty to follow God’s commands rather than being guided and ruled only by our own estimation of things and by our feelings, passions and the trends around.