Our radical identity and mission PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 13:30

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

WE really should know who we really are and what our real purpose in life is. To be sure, we are not just our own name, with so many distinguishing marks attached to it.

We are not just someone who was born into such and such a family, who come from this or that place, who has such specific status legally, economically, socially, professionally, etc. Much less are we just our physical attributes.

Of course, our identity includes all these categories. But our most basic and radical identity that should permeate all these identifying categories is that we are all creatures of God made in his image and likeness and meant to correspond to God’s design for us as his image and likeness and ultimately as adopted children of his.

In other words, before we say our name and the many other characteristics to identify ourselves, we have to acknowledge first of all that our true identity is that we are children of God. And from there, we can already know what our basic and ultimate mission or purpose in life is.

It’s important that we realize that our most fundamental identity as God’s creatures and adopted children is not a static phenomenon. It is something dynamic, a work in progress.

Its completion and perfection takes place at our death and at the end of time, when we would hopefully fully correspond to God’s design for us as his image and likeness and his adopted children characterized mainly by love which is the very essence of God.

That’s simply because as created in God’s image and likeness, we have been endowed with intelligence and will which would enable us to correspond or not to God’s designs for us. We are  knowing and willing creature whose creation requires our own role of corresponding to God’s will.

Our creation is not a simple one-way God-to-creature affair. It is a two-way affair. Because of how God wants us to be, God just did not create us like he did with all the material creatures, both animate and inanimate. He created us to be like him, capable of corresponding to his designs for us.

Since we spoiled with our sin our first creation in Adam and Eve who enjoyed the so-called state of original justice, God sent his Son, the perfect image God has of himself and thus the pattern of our humanity that is meant to be in God’s image, to recover us and complete our creation. Christ is the redeemer of our damaged humanity.

Our true identity that we need to aim at is for us to become like Christ—in fact, to be another Christ. And the radical and ultimate mission we have in this world therefore is for us to correspond to God’s designs for us to be another Christ.

This ideal can be described in many ways—that we be holy, that we know how to love God and one another as Christ himself has shown us, that like God we have to be merciful and to strive to reflect in our lives the perfections of God—his wisdom, power, goodness, that like Christ we have to be willing to suffer, to bear all the sins of men, to have the basic attitude of wanting to serve and not to be served, etc.

We need to reinforce this very fundamental truth about our real identity, especially today when our worldly affairs tend to remove us from it. That’s why Christ, before ascending to heaven, first commissioned his apostles to “go out into the whole world, preaching the gospel and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

It’s actually a commissioning that is meant for all of us, to be carried out according to our possibilities. Insofar as Christ is concerned, everything has already been given for us to carry out that mission effectively.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 13:31