Born again in Christ
Fourth Sunday of Advent
By Fr. Roy Cimagala
That gospel story about the Archangel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her that she was going to be the mother of the son of God (cfr. Lk 1,26-38) reminds us that like Mary, we too should say, “Fiat,” (Be it done) to whatever the will of God is for us, so that not only can we be born again in Christ but also become more and more like Christ until we are made “another Christ” as God wants us to be.
This is the will of God for us which we should be clear about so that we would not be confused, much less, lost, as to the real purpose of our life here on earth. We have to realize that we have an active role to play in this “divine project.” While God is the main agent of this project, we too have to be his co-agent.
In a sense, we are his co-creator and co-redeemer, understood properly in that it is only God who creates and redeems us, but we need to cooperate and to correspond to his creative and redemptive work on us. That’s how we have to understand these expressions.
The secret, of course, is that we obey God’s will for us, whatever it is and whatever it takes. We should expect some difficult and even impossible things to tackle, since this divine project is eminently spiritual and supernatural in nature.
But with God, we would also be given the grace so that what we cannot do through our natural powers, given our weaknesses and limitations, his power can do it for us as long as we go along with him.
It is our spiritual powers of intelligence and will that would enable us to receive the supernatural power of God’s grace. These spiritual powers of ours have what is called as the obediential potency to receive the supernatural grace of God.
This is what it means to be born again in Christ and to live our life with him, in him and through him. We should always be aware of this basic truth about ourselves and learn to act on it daily, making use of some practices of piety, like prayer and recourse to the sacraments, and always undertaking the ascetical struggle so that our mind and heart would always be with God.
Let us always keep in mind that our life here on earth is the time God uses in his eternity to create and redeem us. He is still shaping and directing us, helping and cleaning us of our sins, mainly through the ordinary events of our life. Yes, we have to be keenly aware of this reality of our ordinary daily life. God is actively intervening in our life through these events, regardless of whether they are humanly good or bad.
We have to understand that this is the ideal way to live. We need to be with Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life for us, not only from time to time, but all the time. To put it bluntly, we cannot be in the right way, we cannot find the truth about ourselves and everything else, we cannot have true eternal life, without him.
We need to be clear about the abiding presence and love of Christ for us. “Remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age,” he assured his apostles who can include all of us if we choose to believe and follow him. (Mt 28,20)