Every new life sparks off a new hope; a parent's pride and joy. No matter what happened before the birth of the child or after, in that moment a mother first holds her child and feels his warmth, she is lost in the beautiful innocence of this new life, now in her arms after 9 long months. Her heart is filled with unspeakable joy and eager anticipation of how this child's life will unfold.
We all came into this strange and unfamiliar world. We know not what our future will be, how long we will live or what our purpose in life is. We did not make the choice to be born but are brought into the world. Our journey, thus, began.
Once upon a time, many many years ago, a child was born in a stable; smelly, dirty and so humble. He was just like us in everything but sin; He knew not what His life would unfold into. His parents gazed upon Him in wonder, with the same unspeakable joy and eager anticipation.
This Baby grew up and His Heavenly Father filled Him with wisdom, and revealed the Will that He was to fulfill. It was nothing pleasant nor was it a Will that was easy to accept. Certainly, no mother on earth will be able to accept such a will too for her son. But Jesus accepted it because He loves His Father and will do anything His Father asks of Him. Such is the filial obedience and inseparable love of Jesus with His Father. And as Jesus matured, He knew that this was what awaited Him... (watch the video in the link provided before continuing and let it speak to your heart)
Jesus was focused, all through His life, that His Father's will was what His life was about, that it was to be fulfilled in Him. What is God's will for us? Do we know? Have we sought? Do we want to find out? We might not know how to discern His will for us but we can certainly seek help and guidance from priests and religious who are trained in discernment. At certain junctures in our lives, we may have questioned the purpose of our lives; Just what are we here for?
In whichever life vocation we are called into, which we must also discern, God's will for us is for us to love and serve Him; to take up our daily crosses and follow Him in His ways instead of the ways of the world. His way for us is that of holiness. And no matter how humanly impossible, challenging and just pure "madness" that may seem, we have to take Jesus as our role model; He took the cross of the world upon His own shoulders!
How do we go about loving and serving God? Before any of these can come about, we must want to and be disciplined to pray. Start off the day in prayer, live through the day in prayer, end the day in prayer. To be connected with the God hiding in our hearts, so that we can build a personal relationship with Him. Doesn't a husband call his wife at mid day to connect with her, find out how she is doing and assures her that he is thinking of her? Without connection, without communication, how can love deepen? People say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder". But they forgot to mention that in the first place, there must be love and a relationship to start off with. Otherwise, absence will only lead to forgetfulness.
Building a relationship on solid foundation with a spouse entails the same ingredients as building a personal relationship with God. We attend workshops and talks about effective communication, marriage preparation, good parenting skills, etc. What is the purpose of all these? To equip ourselves better to develop good and healthy relationships in our workplace and with people who we hold dear to our hearts. Is it really true, then, that we are totally clueless on how to build a personal relationship with God? It IS difficult relating to a God who may seem so abstract, distant and impersonal. This is because we have yet to know and experience Him. Despite how tough it truly is, we have to take that first step to search for Him. We have to keep searching and seeking till we find Him. And God will allow us to find Him. Jeremiah 29:11-14 affirms us, "I know the plans I have in mind for you - it is Yahweh who speaks - plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you. Then when you call to me, and come to plead with me, I will listen to you. When you seek me you shall find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will let you find me..."
It is in building a personal relationship with God that we can grow to love Him more and more.
It is in loving Him increasingly that we will realise the only way to contain His love for us and grow our love for Him, is to share this love with others. We cannot try to keep all the love for ourselves in our hearts because that is not believing in the abundance and the infinite love of God.
It is in this realisation of our need to share His love that we will naturally want to serve Him in others in love, with love.
As we journey closer to Advent, in our reflection of the true meaning of Christ's birth into this world, that is to fulfill the Will of His Father, let us also begin to consider what God's will for us is, let us begin to take a greater interest in how we can use our lives to love and serve God. Where is God in our lives? How connected are we with Him? How can we deepen our relationship with the Lord? There is much to be done; Let us not waste precious time on things that matter to this world for they are the very things that don't matter in God's Kingdom, where we hope to spend eternity in as compared to the limited years on this earth. Before Jesus died, He said, "It is accomplished." Let us, at the end of our lives, also be able to say, "God's will in my life is accomplished." Let us pray for wisdom and courage.
11 November 2010, Thursday