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God’s mysterious providence

It’s interesting to note that, as the gospel of St. Matthew narrates, Christ somehow had to make some drastic changes in his plans when he learned that John the Baptist was imprisoned. (cfr. Mt 4,17-23) He left Nazareth and withdrew to Galilee to live in Capernaum.

And yet such change of residence, clearly an act of prudence on his part, fulfilled a prophecy about him—that the “land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” (Mt 4,15-16)

It’s quite clear from this observation that we can also follow God’s mysterious providence if we just allow Christ to reign in our life. When we are with him and when we do everything with him and for him, we cannot be mistaken in following God’s ways for us, even if along the way, we can meet all sorts of difficulties, commit some mistakes and all the other negative things that can happen in our life.

Christ, who said he is “the way, the truth and the life” for us, will always show us the way of how to go along God’s providence amid the many twists and turns of our life here on earth.

As St. Paul assured us, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” (Rom 8,28) With Christ, even our mistakes and sins, and the suffering they bring, as long as referred to Christ, will pass from being a curse to become a cure.

We should just to make sure that Christ is always in our mind and heart. It should be him who should tell us or at least indicate to us what to think, say and do. We need to be watchful when we dare to do things simply on our own, relying only on our intelligence, and much less on our emotions and human appetites and urges. Our human faculties need to be supervised and directed always by Christ through our faith in him.

Just the same, like him and with him, we should just focus on what we are supposed to do. In the case of Christ, in spite of that change of residence, he continued to preach, especially on the need for repentance.

We have to remember that it is repentance that in the end we most need to do because we cannot avoid falling into sin. With repentance, even if shown only slightly, we can be sure to receive the mercy of God who is always ready to give it to us.

But aside from preaching about repentance, like Christ, we should help one another in our duty to pursue our personal sanctification and to help in the apostolate. If we would focus on this duty, we can be sure that we will always be within the orbit of God’s providence.

Personal sanctification and apostolate should be understood as our main business here on earth. Everything else—our profession, business, politics, etc.—are meant only as an occasion or means to carry out these indispensable duties of ours.

Let’s be more aware of our duty to go along God’s providence. Although God, with his providence, will always do everything to direct us and everything else to him, we, being his image and likeness, should cooperate with him in the best way we can.*

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January 2023
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