Much given, much required

cimagala-thumbTHIS is the law of our life. It is the law of love where we give back what we receive. In fact, we try to give back more than what we receive. This is what Christ taught us. He said, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Lk 12,48)

If one is given a lot of gifts, blessings, privileges, opportunities, etc, then a lot should also be expected of him. He reiterates the same idea a number of times in the parable of the talents, the parable of the seed, the tenants in the vineyard, and the different images he taught about the Kingdom of God. Even on the basis of common sense alone, that idea should be a given, a no-brainer or no-contest proposition.

We have always been taught to trade with our talents, to make the most of what is given and entrusted to us, to be generous and magnificent in the way we spend our life. Our life here on earth, after all, is a test of love, the real love, which is love for God and others, and never just self-love.

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But nowadays, we need to be sharply reminded of these words which actually indicate a very basic truth about ourselves, since we see precisely the opposite of this truth in many parts of the world.

And this fundamental truth is none other than that all we have, from our life to our natural endowments and to the good consequences these endowments bring, are always a gift from God and should be used in accordance to his will or plan.

We tend to forget this truth. We tend to expropriate these God-given gifts as if they are simply our own, to be used in any way we want. And, boy, how we use them!

We have great people endowed with great talents, intelligence, power, fame and fortune, health and strength, who do not relate all these gifts and blessings to God and his plan. They are never thankful to God. They don’t even miss him. They use and tout their gifts as if these are simply their own.

We can have a singing sensation, for example, with a tremendously powerful and beautiful voice, and who now commands immense popularity with many people practically swooning over her. And yet she flaunts her talent as if it is just her own, as if the success she has achieved so far in her career is simply of her own making.

May we be generous in this department of giving back, convinced that what we seem to lose by giving is actually regained and multiplied a number of times, as Christ himself said, “For everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for my name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19,29)

By giving back what we receive, we foster greater connectivity and communion among ourselves. This is urgently needed these days when, ironically, we have many more communication technologies than before and yet we seem to have more people isolating themselves from others now than before.

We have to cultivate a strong appetite for communion by giving ourselves to others unstintingly, not so much for what they give us as for what God has given us.

We need to cultivate this appetite for communion with Christ. We have to develop a holy fear of simply being by ourselves, relying solely on our human powers and resources. This is a dangerous situation to be in.

We need to enter into communion with Christ, which is actually what is proper to us, since our life is not meant only to be
ours alone, but rather to be vitally united with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. We are made in his image and likeness. We cannot be without him in our mind and heart, and in our life as a whole.

With him, we can enter into communion with everybody else as a necessary consequence, because loving God is necessarily loving others also.

We have to be men and women for God and for others. That’s actually the objectively proper trajectory of our thoughts and desires. We have to be wary when we get trapped thinking only of ourselves, a constant danger to us.

To be persons for God and for others is written in our nature. The structure and features of our life all demand that we actually need to get out of our own selves, otherwise we get short-circuited. (By Fr. Roy Cimagala)



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