By Deacon W. Gerard Gautrau, Guest Column
Sometimes newlyweds must look beyond each other and their own little worlds and see the bigger picture. They have so much to offer in the name of our Lord. They’ve taken the first step in committing to get each other to heaven by getting married in the Church. Now it’s time to step up and devote themselves to making the world a better place by touching the lives of others. It’s a responsibility we all share, married and non-married alike. So how do we all start down this road?
It begins with the correct mindset. Do we ever consider that God works through us in providing for the needs of his people? This includes, but is not limited to, their physical, spiritual, psychological, financial, social and medical comforts.
We often ask God to answer our prayers and to provide us with his blessings and grace. Sometimes he answers those requests by using others as his instrument.
He may send someone to bring us comfort in times of sorrow, healing in times of sickness through caregivers, reassurance from a mentor in times of doubt, financial assistance from donors in times of need, and friends in times of loneliness.
The big question is, “Do we realize that God can answer our prayers through others, because they have said ‘Yes’ to him?”
All these people have one thing in common. They have God in their heart, and God is love. They have taken it upon themselves to share that love by being a reflection of God’s love for us. They do it unselfishly without expectation of gain or praise.
So, how can we allow God to work through us? Do we have to receive a special calling? No, all we must do is what others have done and that is to respond favorably to Christ’s call to love God and to love neighbor. We have to echo the words from the song, “Here I am Lord” which says, “I will go Lord, if you’ll lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.”
The first step in becoming God-like is to recognize him working in our lives. We do this by putting aside time at the end of each day to review the day’s events and to consciously recall where we were touched by God’s presence and how he manifested himself to us. Where did it occur? How? By what means? We can’t imitate someone we’ve never met nor seen in action. It’s important to be able to see him acting through others so that we can learn to do likewise.
The next step is to recognize the charisms or gifts that we must share with others. What are the ways that God has touched us, creating talents that we can use for the benefit of others?
The next step is commitment. A commitment which must be ignorant of the scorn or persecution we may endure from others.
Christ gives us consolation in those times when he says, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven” Mt 5:11-12.
We might wonder, “If I’m doing such good, why would I have to worry about someone scorning me?” The answer is that some people are just jealous. They may accuse us of doing these things for recognition or because we have hidden motives. They haven’t recognized the love of God in their own lives and hence can’t imagine why someone would just give away their time, talent, or treasures without getting something back in return.
The secret to getting past their unflattering actions or comments is to do something nice for them. We’ll either win them over to our (God’s) side or we’ll drive them crazy trying to figure out what we’re up to.
Remember, that all the good that we do is meant to bring glory to God through imitating Christ.
Deacon W. Gerard Gautrau is a permanent deacon at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Norco.