Anniversaries, gratitude, fidelity PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 12:50

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

ANNIVERSARIES of whatever kind, be it happy or sad, should elicit in us the impulse of gratitude and the resolve to be faithful. They are part of our past that involves a turning point or a landmark. As such they define our life to a certain extent. They give direction and meaning to our life.

They remind us that life is a continuum of the past, the present and the future. If we are perceptive enough of their significance, they can suggest that we are meant to break out of time to enter into eternity. They should be seen as part of a global whole that can only come from our faith in God, our creator and father. They can very well be milestones in the abiding providence of God.

They are good occasions to take account of what had happened since that landmark event, to count our blessings and give thanks to God and all. That’s because despite whatever mistakes, problems, failures, setbacks we may have experienced, the truth is we have survived them, we have learned precious lessons, we still feel loved and are still capable of loving and of moving on, since there are still many things to do.

It’s important that we be quick to acknowledge these graces and blessings, and give due thanks for them, especially through fervent prayers, generous sacrifices and, of course, the celebration of the Holy Mass which is the best way to give thanks, since our gratitude would be coursed through Christ’s supreme act of offering of his life to his Father for our sake.

Anniversaries should bring these truths to the fore, and should elicit in us the proper response. Aside from thanksgiving, we should be filled with desires for renewal, for another conversion, for sustained continuity and fidelity.

They should remind us of the bigger, more comprehensive picture of our life, removing us from our tendency to be restrictive in our view, understanding and attitude to things.

In fact, we need to learn how to relate the here and now to our beginnings as well as our ultimate end. More than that, we need to learn to relate the temporal to the eternal, the material to the spiritual, the natural to the supernatural. Anniversaries should somehow trigger these considerations in our mind and heart.

We should help one another to understand and conform our mind and heart to the true nature, character and purpose of anniversary celebrations. Especially these days when we are bombarded with things that tend to chain us to the here and now and to the externals, to the ephemeral, we need to be more active in highlighting the true meaning of anniversaries.

The most important consideration should be that of fidelity—first to God and to whatever commitments we may have entered into. We have to understand that fidelity to God is not a dead and rigid one. It is rather alive and active, always able to react and say something meaningful, relevant, useful and redemptive to any situation and predicament we may be in.