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From abandonment to apostolic zeal

It’s intriguing to note that when Christ sent out his disciples in pairs to prepare his coming to the different towns, he commanded them to “carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals, and to greet no one along the way.” (cfr. Lk 10,1-9) He is actually telling them not to worry so much about these items because in the end he will take care of them.

Such words of Christ can only remind us that we should always be trusting of the ever powerful and merciful providence of God who governs all of his creation with absolute effectiveness no matter how much we mess up things.

Yes, we may experience some privations, some losses, etc., in our life, but if we stick with God, we know that everything will always work out for the good. (cfr. Rom 8,28)

With all the things that we have to contend with in this life, we certainly need to have a healthy sense of trust in God’s loving and wise providence, abandoning ourselves in his will and ways that often are mysterious to us and can appear to be contrary to what we would like to have.

A healthy spirit of abandonment in God’s hands is necessary even as we exhaust all possible human means to achieve our goals or simply to tackle all the challenges, trials and predicaments of our life. We should never forget this truth of our faith.

In this life, we need to acquire a good, healthy sporting spirit, because life is actually like a game. Yes, life is like a game. We set out to pursue a goal, we have to follow certain rules, we are given some means, tools and instruments, we are primed to win and we do our best, but losses can come, and yet, we just have to move on.

Woe to us when we get stuck with our defeats and failures, developing a loser’s mentality. That would be the epic fail that puts a period and a finis in a hanging narrative, when a comma, a colon or semi-colon would have sufficed.

We need a sporting spirit because life’s true failure can come only when we choose not to have hope. That happens when our vision and understanding of things is narrow and limited, confined only to the here and now and ignorant of the transcendent reality of the spiritual and supernatural world.

It’s only when we are properly detached from the things of this world and trust in the powerful providence of God that we can develop the ideal apostolic zeal. To develop our zealous apostolic concern surely entails sacrifice. We should not be surprised if in pursuing it we are challenged, faced with difficulties and asked to do self-denials and other forms of sacrifice.

We just have to hold firm on our Christian conviction, together with the continuing petition for God’s grace and the generous discharge of our human effort, that to do apostolate is the will of God. He is bent in accomplishing it. It’s his first concern to contend with the difficulties. Ours is simply to cooperate.

We have to continually ask ourselves if our thoughts and desires bear an eminently apostolic character. If not, let’s immediately do the necessary adjustments and corrections.

We have to embark also on a life-long effort to acquire apostolic skills—how to make friends and deepen that friendship, how to pursue full blast the supernatural apostolic goal of our life while respecting our natural conditions, etc.*

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