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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, September 29, 2017
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Rock & Refuge

No rights, just duties

A person who is truly in love with his beloved will happily invoke his right to reject all his rights and just assume all the duties toward his beloved. This is the ultimate language of love where one just gives himself completely to his beloved without expecting any return.

We have to aim at that kind of love because that is the love that Christ himself has shown and has given to us. In fact, he commanded us to love one another as he himself has loved us. And we know that his love for us goes all the way to giving up his life on the cross, assuming all our sins and giving us a way to extricate ourselves from the grip of our sinfulness.

It is a completely gratuitous love, a love given without measure and calculation. And the curious thing about this love is that what seems to get lost by living it or what we give up by loving, will actually gain for us a lot more than what is lost or given up.

Christ reassured us of this when he said that when we give up even the most precious things in our life, we would actually regain them a hundredfold. “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life more me will find it.” (Mt 16,25) And he walked his talk precisely by resurrecting three days after his most ignominious death.

We have to feel reassured of the effectiveness of this kind of love. We have to convince ourselves that it is all worthwhile to discard our rights and just think of duties with respect to loving. In this way, we live in ourselves what Christ said of his own self:“The Son of Man came to serve and not to be serve.”

A strong faith, of course, is needed here. And we just have to make that faith filter down to our heart and emotions so that we can get excited with the self-surrender involved in loving and that we find meaning in it.

Let's find ways everyday to serve. Perhaps one good way is to start the day, as we wake up, by saying, “Serviam,” I will serve, addressing it to God and to everyone, whoever he may be. We should try not to make distinctions as to whom to serve.

Obviously, our serving others, which is the reason for discarding all our rights and just assuming duties, should be done in the context of God's law of love, that can lend itself in different ways to the needs of all kinds of people, whether they deserve it or not, etc.

Sooner or later, we will notice that instead of depleting ourselves of energy, we will find ourselves filled with an unspeakable kind of satisfaction. Indeed, Christ's words about losing in order to gain, really works.

In a sense, we live out the following words of Christ: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (Jn 12,24) We should not be afraid to lose our rights. Just fulfill the duty to love everyone as Christ has loved and continues to love us!*

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