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Thursday, 18 May 2017 13:30

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE should try never to get contented with the minimum. We should avoid having a minimalist attitude with respect to our relation with God and with others. Much less should we fall into complacency and spiritual and moral lukewarmness which is already a deliberate justification for getting by with what is simply tolerable or passable in our relationships.

Our love for God and others should go all the way. That’s how love is, if it is authentic. It is given without measure, just as God himself, whose very essence is love, has given himself completely, abundantly and abidingly to us. As acted out in Christ, God’s love is such that even his life is offered for us. There can no greater love than that.

As Christ himself put it: “Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required.” (Lk 12,48) This is the true law and language of love. Love is repaid with love. Let’s hope that we are always aware of love’s genuine character and abide by it.

Of course, God, being all compassionate and merciful, will understand everything and everyone even if we are bumbling in our love for him. As Christ himself said: “A bruised reed he will not break. A smoldering wick he will not quench.” (Mt 12,20)

God will always be most lenient with everyone. But that leniency is precisely part of his great love for us. In a sense, we can say that he is most strict with himself while being most lenient with others. That is how we should also be—very demanding on ourselves while being very accommodating with others.

We have to understand then that our love for God and for others should tend toward heroism whose most poignant expression is martyrdom—that willingness, if need be, not only to suffer for the others but also to die for them out of love.

We need to train ourselves in this kind of love, asking first of all for God’s grace and doing whatever we can to follow Christ’s example. Precisely this is what Christ told his disciples as the new commandment for us: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 13,34)

Let’s be convinced that this is what is proper for us. In spite of the many sacrifices involved in this kind of self-giving, let’s be convinced that this is where we can find our true joy, where we can truly identify with Christ who is both the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity.

With God’s grace, we should fight against our usual fear to give ourselves to the others to the max. Let’s stop calculating, and much less, sparing in loving others. Let’s remember these reassuring words from the Book of Proverbs: “Those who give generously receive more, but those who are stingy with what is appropriate will grow needy. Generous persons will prosper, those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” (11,24-25)

Let’s be wary of the ways of the world that precisely distorts the very essence of love by avoiding the maximum and getting contented with the minimum.