Forever PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 January 2016 14:23

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Before this eminent word, Forever, is trivialized and  corrupted by our ‘telenovela’ culture, we need to remind ourselves that the word is not simply a word but rather a sublime reality meant for us who are of a spiritual nature also, and therefore, equipped for a life that is forever. Besides, our dignity as image and likeness of God and children of his makes our life in the forever an essential part of our being.

Our soul, being spiritual, can defy the wear and tear of our material world and can transcend its limitations. And as image and likeness of God and children of his, we can expect his grace that would make the possibility of forever for us to be actualized. That’s why we can claim that we are meant for forever, for eternity.

All these assertions somehow have their basis on the words of St. John in his first letter: “The world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.”

(2,17) Here we are told the secret of how to “remain forever.”

We need to be wary of loving the world in the wrong way.

We are supposed to love the world, because it is where God has placed us and it is also a creation of God and therefore is good.

But we would love it in the wrong way when we make it our own god, the be-all and end-all of our life. Yes, we are in the world, so we are supposed to love it in a certain way, but we are not supposed to be worldly.

Again in that first letter of St. John, we are told of what the world contains that can lead us away from God, the source of all good things. “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” (2,15-16)

Thus, a certain detachment from the things of the world has always been advised and encouraged in us. This is the very essence of what is known as Christian poverty. It’s an emptying of the heart of earthly things to fill it only with God and the things of God.

Yes, we have to love the world, but in the way God loves it and not just any kind of love. In the gospel of St. John, we have these words that corroborate this point: “For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” (3,16)

We have to learn how to refer to God the world, where we have been placed, and the things of the world, which we have to handle. We have to understand that the world has an inherent objective relation to God and to us that we need to discover, appreciate and make use of.

If we understand this point right, then the world would not be obstacle to us in our duty to find and love God and others. The world and everything in it, whether good or bad, would be a good instrument or occasion to develop our love for God and others. The world and everything in it would be the means to bring us to our forever, to our eternal life.

We just have to learn how to purify the things that ought to be purifed, to suffer all the pains and sorrows that are unavoidable in it, and to offer everything for the glory of God and the good of all. As to the good things that we enjoy in the world, let’s always be thankful and ever thoughtful of how to use them properly.

The crucial point is that we do the will of God with whom we are supposed to live our life here on earth. “Whoever does the will of God remains forever,” remember? And God’s will is not difficult to find out. We have his commandments and his teachings.

And the ordinary duties and responsibilities of our state in life already comprise the main bulk of what God’s will is for us. If we fulfill them faithfully everyday, then we will get to know more of that will in its finer points as well as in its big dimensions. In this way can forever be already savored here and now.