Glorious and somber November PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 October 2015 13:04

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

November begins with the celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of All Souls. These celebrations remind us of the wonderful reality that our life is not just limited by our earthly space-and-time existence, but has other dimensions that we often take for granted.

They remind us of the glorious reality of the communion of saints that is meant for all of us, since we are all children of God, and the Christian meaning of earthly suffering and death that while sobering is also uplifting, since these serve for our purification and ultimate redemption.

We have to be wary of our tendency to get stuck to the here and now, and to be so immersed in the drama and game of our earthly life that we fail to realize there is a lot more than what we have here, what we do and say now, what we are at present.

We may create all sorts of problems and chaos in this life, all kinds of ugliness. But, hey, there is hope! Christ has redeemed us with his death! Sin and death have their sting removed. Let us learn to see beauty in all the chaos and ugliness of our present, and attain redemption in our seemingly hopeless predicament.

Let’s remember that Christ’s all-powerful and never-fading work of redemption that culminated on the cross, can take on anything that we say, do or are, whether it is something good or something bad.

What is simply needed at the very least is our openness to the merits of Christ’s redemptive work by not putting obstacles to them or resisting his will and commandments. Better, if we actively follow God’s will. We may still commit errors, but if done in good faith, there is still hope. Christ will repeat what he said just before he died: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

No, death definitely does not have the last word. It’s life, everlasting life with God in heaven, or God forbid, eternal condemnation in hell. Neither are pain and suffering the main ingredient or the ultimate goal of our earthly life. It’s joy, peace, victory, success, offered to us by Christ himself, our savior.

It’s not even only life with God that we are meant for. It’s life with everybody else, in a blessed communion of saints that God willed for all of us from all eternity. On his part, he has given everything that this ideal be made real. It’s now up to us to choose to follow God’s will or not.

These celebrations on November 1 and 2 should expand our awareness that we belong to the family of God whose image and likeness we are and whose children we also are. As such, we are not meant to live in time alone, but also in eternity, not here on earth alone, but also in heaven.

We need to be more aware of our duty to seek sanctity in the middle of our earthly concerns. Even more, we need to be skilful in carrying it out. This duty, in so many words, is combining our earthly concerns with our eternal goal.

There is nothing in our life that cannot be sanctifiable. What matters is that we relate everything to God, whether it is something good, for which we ought to be thankful, or something bad, for which we have to be sorry.

Even our sins, if repented, can be a tremendous trigger for grace to be showered on us. We, of course, should try to avoid sin which is actually a matter of increasing our love for God and for others.

We need to be clear about these fundamental truths, so we be guided properly in our life, making the right choices, since our life is also not a matter of fate or luck, but rather of choice, first that of God who chooses to love us in spite of whatever, and that of ours. But we have to learn to choose properly.

Whatever situation we may find ourselves in, including the worst scenarios possible to our human, earthly condition, we can always manage to find joy and peace if we allow ourselves to be guided by our Christian faith, rather than by just our human estimation of things.

So as we visit the tombs of our loved ones, let’s remember these fundamental truths that give the proper perspective to our life and everything in it, including our predicaments. These truths would shed on us the light for our life, and would reveal to us the glory awaiting us.