Conduct worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1, 27)
God wants all human beings to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Those who really know him and the truth have concern, just like Jesus, for everyone.
Jesus is determined to accomplish his project. Time and again he invites to the heavenly kingdom all the people he meets. He does not find tiring or tedious doing repeatedly the same thing.
Nor does he appear picky with those who are coming forward, ready to work together in the project of the kingdom that leads to a better world. It must be due to his sense of urgency. So then, he enlists all of them, gives them work and compensates them fairly and generously with nothing less than the enjoyment of the kingdom itself.
But there are always those who grumble who apparently are looking not so much for the kingdom as for themselves. Their thoughts and ways are not God’s. They exert efforts to be seen in public as people of great prominence. They deem themselves entitled to the best seats.
The grumblers are locked up in their own interests. They are not aware of those in need, nor do they put themselves on the same level as the common folks or, much less, as a marginalized person, to whose marginalization they have contributed because of their claims of superiority. They are proponents of exclusivism. They do not believe that God wills the salvation of everybody
They do not understand either that God saves by his grace those with faith. They think they deserve salvation because of their learning, abilities and blameless conduct. They advocate for meritocracy, as if there were such a thing. For really, what do we possess that we have not received?
We Christians consider ourselves to be the last that have become first. But just the same, we can easily revert back to our previous state. But this will not happen to us surely—and what happiness it will be besides, according to St. Vincent de Paul—if we “do that for which our Lord came from heaven to earth, and by means of which we too shall go to heaven (Coste XII:4).
We will go to heaven if we are faithful to the commission, entrusted by the deeply Committed Missionary who, taking the place of his servants, never tired of, nor got annoyed with going out to evangelize and welcome all kinds of people, especially the burdened, the helpless, the excluded. Blessed are we, if we contribute to the poor being filled with bread, the priests being clothed with salvation, and the faithful ringing out their joy.
And if we humble ourselves like the Master who washed his disciples’ feet, then one day he will gird himself, have us recline at table and proceed to wait on us.
Ross Reyes Dizon