Discovering the love of the Father for me as one of His children is winning the lottery. Of course, God’s love has always been there. That’s why I exist. What hasn’t always been there however is my realization that all that is important in this life and in the next is tied to my “relationship” with the Triune God. By virtue of my Baptism, I am a member of God’s family. I am His adopted son. I was created in His image. I have been given the freedom to accept my inheritance or refuse it. Every day in assorted ways I am called to intimacy with my Creator because that is what God wants. He has waited patiently while I manufactured excuses to find something else to do rather than spend time with Him.
Sound familiar! I’m afraid that might well be the story that many of us would recount. Thank God that He continues to shower us with grace to nourish whatever inclination that we possess to want to be like Him. As His child, my spiritual DNA inclines me to resemble my Father for after all I should take after Him. So what is missing here? If any of us has inherited gifts or abilities from our natural parents, we instinctively know that those gifts or abilities are wasted if we don’t apply effort to develop them. We may have the potential but the potential dissolves and amounts to nothing of significance without a concerted effort to capitalize on our abilities. The same can be said of those spiritual gifts and abilities that flow to us as a child of God. We can’t ignore these gifts and expect them to amount to much. In the spiritual realm, each of us is called to Discipleship. It’s our birth rite and our birth obligation, products of our Baptism. If we are to truly stand out to those around us as “made in the image and likeness of God” then we must aspire to a degree of righteousness or holiness in our lives. How do we move in that direction? We do so by reordering our lives to recognize the God within who gently prods us to intimacy. We seek God by listening to Him and that involves time set aside for prayer. Prayer over time builds intimacy and intimacy cements our relationship with God. That relationship leads to Discipleship.
As Christians, we should acknowledge the primacy of the call to Evangelization and that call has two dimensions. If relates firstly to the need to be open to being evangelized ourselves that we might allow Jesus to rule in our hearts as this is tantamount to discipleship. Secondly, we need to use our relationship with others to be a “bridge of trust” to faith for our friends, family members and others who notice our commitment to Jesus and who enquire about our reason for our hope and the commitment that flows from it.
I’m making it a priority in 2018 to take advantage of my spiritual DNA. Will you do likewise?