By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“WHOEVER breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5,19)
With these words of our Lord, we are clearly told that we have to be eager to know and to live God’s will and commandments. That’s where our perfection can be found. That’s how we can truly become God’s image and likeness as he wants us to be. And he gives us all the means. It’s just for us to avail of them.
There’s no question that it’s going to be difficult, given the way we are. But it’s never impossible. As long as we open ourselves to God’s will and ways, we can hack it in spite of our natural limitations, not to mention our weaknesses and mistakes.
Living by God’s will is what is most important to us. It’s not just following our will which is, of course, indispensable to us. Otherwise, we would be undermining our very own freedom and our humanity itself. Whatever we do is done because we want it. It should be a fruit of our freedom.
But what is most important is to conform our will to God’s will, which is even more indispensable to us. Otherwise, we sooner or later would destroy our freedom and our humanity itself, since God is the very author and the very lawgiver of our freedom and our humanity.
This is a basic truth that we need to spread around more widely and abidingly, since it is steadily and even systematically being forgotten and, nowadays, even contradicted in many instances. We need to inculcate this truth to children as early as when they can understand and appreciate it. Then let’s give them the example of how it is lived.
God’s will is the source of everything in the universe. The whole of creation in all its existence, unity, truth, goodness and beauty starts from God’s will and is maintained by it. The entire range and scope of reality—be it material or spiritual, natural or supernatural, temporal or eternal—is “contained” there, not only theoretically but in vivo.
The task of looking, knowing and loving the divine will, therefore, has to be made more known by us, because we tend to simply have a superficial knowledge of God, restricting him to some sentimental considerations or to some images we form of him in our mind. Hardly would we get to know what he wants us to do in any given moment, if we are mainly guided by sentimental considerations and visual or conceptual images of him.
Getting to know and do God’s will is what actually would comprise the very substance of our relationship with him. That’s simply because that is what love is all about, what it entails, which is the very essence of God, as St. John affirmed (Deus caritas est). Love is deeds and not just sweet words or feelings. Real love is deeds done to correspond to God’s will for us.
We need to develop the proper attitude toward God’s will. We should first be aware that there’s such thing as God’s will, and not just God’s image. We should cultivate the desire to know, love and obey it until we can make as our own Christ’s very attitude toward his Father’s will, “Not my will, but yours be done,” and Mary’s words, “Be it done to me according to your word.”