Focus on our ultimate goal
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

“Teach us how to live in this passing world with our heart set on the world that will never end.” This is part of a Eucharistic Preface for Lent which reminds us we should focus on the ultimate goal of life without getting confused and lost in the passing things of this world.

This point echoes what St. Paul said in his Letter to the Colossians: “Since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (3,1-2)

We should be mindful of this need to have the proper focus in our life. We should do everything to have that focus, given the fact that in our earthly life, we cannot help but get immersed in so many earthly and temporal things.

May we know how to relate the things of this world to our ultimate heavenly and eternal goal, how to avoid getting stranded, stuck, or entangled with the things of this world, all the technicalities of our earthly affairs, all kinds of distractions the world is now full of.

Everything in our earthly life, whether good or bad in human terms, can and should be related to God. Everything can be an occasion, a path and a means to know, love and serve God and others.

Relating everything to God is an art and skill that we need to learn and master. And for that ideal to become real, we certainly have to develop our spiritual life that would involve many things.

For one, we have to learn how to pray. Of course, we have to be convinced first of all of the indispensability and practicability of prayer in our life. We have to know, for example, why we have to pray, the purposes and kinds of prayers, etc. We have to develop the discipline and habit of praying. The problem we have now is many people don’t know how to pray, or don’t even care to pray.

Then we have to deepen our knowledge of the doctrine of our faith so we can be more familiar and hopefully become more able to carry out God’s will. Remember that God revealed himself completely to us through Christ, and that revelation is not only historical but also existential.

That revelation continues to take place even now till the end of time through God’s power. But we have to do our part in corresponding to it as faithfully as possible. And, to be sure, it is not only revelation that is being done. Again, through his mysterious power and ways, God continues to deal with us directly and wants to identify himself with us since he wants us to be his image and likeness.

Yes, we have to study the doctrine of our faith with the view of conforming our mind and will to God’s mind and will, and later on to reflect in our life the very life of God himself. This may sound like a very fantastic, incredible assertion to make, but that happens to be what God wants for us.

We just have to believe that this can be done, not because of our effort, though we are asked to do our best, but because of God’s power. What is impossible with us is always possible with God. But we need to go along as best as we can with God’s will and ways, echoing Christ’s words:

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” (Jn 6,38)

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