From the cross, He looked down upon those who schemed and had Him crucified. Even in His state of near-death and all the suffering He had endured on the way of the cross, they looked up at Him and mocked Him, daring Him to save Himself. These, who met and schemed the death of their own Son/Kinsman in the hands of their hated colonizer – the Roman soldiers, all because He made them realize the truth about themselves, that they were – Hypocrites. Yet, on that cross, He prayed for them to His Father, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” – Luke 23:34. Yes, even in the vilest of sins, God has us in mind to lead us to renewal and to forgive and embrace us again when we are truly repentant.
Before His passion, He was mindful of the effect of betrayal upon His apostles, that He warned them of how they would do this to Him. He prayed for them so that they would not fall, like the one – Judas Iscariot – who chose to fall. He empathized with the sick, the disabled and the dead, that He healed them and raised the dead. He understood our human weaknesses, and came in all humility incarnated in our form, to show us we could live above the weaknesses.
He knows every hair on your head – Luke 12:7; He knows you by name – Isaiah 43:1, Exodus 33:12 & 17; He is compassionate and loves you so much so that He sent His Holy Begotten Son to die for you and me so that we may be redeemed by His blood. He knows us because, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, He made us, and all things in the world for us – Genesis 1. Indeed, He has us in mind to understand our troubles, strengthen us above them, and reunited us with the Father as His children.
He made us in His own image and likeness – the image of His Spirit through which He gifts us with knowledge, wisdom, counsel, understanding, faith, holy fear, fortitude and love; and the likeness of which is all virtues – good and love; and both by which we can enjoy the fruits of His Spirit – our heaven on earth. This is if only we live in this image and likeness that He made us, even as we live in the body He has molded us with soil – Genesis 2:7. Yes, He made us like Himself, extending love and goodness, rather than keeping these to Himself, and making us capable of living Him [love and goodness] among one another for the sake of one another and for His sake. This is because He reaches out to the needy among us through us when we make ourselves available and listen to Him. Our inner self, our spirit, enjoys the fruits of joy, love and peace when we reach out to the needy to make them happy too by filling their needs. Indeed, He has us in mind when He uses us to meet the needs of one another.
God made us perfect and knows us. This is even though an enemy, in the night, came and planted weeds among this perfect creation – Matthew 13:24-30 and Genesis 3. He waits for us to separate ourselves from the weeds [all sins] the enemy planted within us, giving us the chance to discover His image within us and live above the sins satan deludes us with as natural to life. He patiently waits as the rain falls and the sun shines upon both the good and the bad. He does not condemn us but still points us to His truth with His Spirit within us if we would listen, with His Word in the Bible if we would read to know, with His Church to lead us in inspired teachings if we are open to understand. He promised to be with us till the end of time – Matthew 28:20, because He has us all in mind, He is compassionate towards the troubles we face in this world, and it is only through Him that we can conquer and live in the Truth, in the Holy Spirit and in His Holy Way and Life – way above these troubles.
He does not leave us empty but fills us with talents and gifts to live by and bear fruits of salvation of all for Him. Everyone has something to offer in this world. We discover them in our children as we observe what they enjoy and do most, and so, we direct and push them towards the talents. But that is not enough. We need to help them know the God that made them so that they develop these gifts in accordance with God’s will, depend upon Him in life’s troubles, trials, errors and joys, and always find rest in Him when they feel hapless. So, He does not leave us empty or purposeless on earth, He has our usefulness of life here in mind.
In your troubles, in your daily life, in your confusions, in your very existence, in this world, He has you in mind for you to turn to. He is always waiting. Even, when life ends here on earth, in His Justice, He still has you in mind to forgive the stains of sins because you believe in Him and tried to live a righteous life – 1 Peter 3:19-20. This is because Jesus said, “…Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die…” John 11:25-26. For the faithful, life does not end on earth, it continues after in wait or purification for the kingdom of God. Why do I say this? It is because, nothing unclean will enter the kingdom – Revelation 21:27. After life on earth, our stain of sin which were not confessed nor corrected, will need to be purified – Mark 9:49. Indeed, the faithful will be purified, either here on earth or after – Luke 12:59. Whether it is by real fire or by proverbial fire, we will be purified before we can enter the kingdom or see God. If not purified here on earth [blessed are those persecuted for my sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 5:10], then you will after; and this period of purification after life on earth or in wait for the Kingdom, is what Catholics refer to as Purgatory. They pray for the souls in this purgatory to be cleansed quickly enough for a better place – perhaps, where Abraham is with Lazarus in Jesus’ proverb – Luke 16:19-31, or at the altar where God’s people reside awaiting justice – Revelations 6:9, or a place simply referred to by others as Limbo. Where resided Moses and Elijah when they appeared to Jesus at the transfiguration? Where is John the Baptist and other prophets before him, who prepared us for Christ? Whichever it is, the dead are certainly not lying in the grave waiting for this second coming of Jesus, or just disappear into nothingness after life spent. Jesus, after His death on the cross, visited and preached to those who died in the time of the flood – 1 Peter 3:19; this gives me hope and shows me that in life on earth and after, He has us all in mind; if only we believe and strive towards holiness and charity.
For those who do not believe, Jesus commissioned us, who do, to spread the gospel by word and example, so that they may believe and be saved too. Let us not relinquish in this duty because God cares for the unbelievers too and wants us all to be saved. So, you see, He has us all in mind: the believers and non-believers, the living and the faithful departed. In His house are many rooms – John 14:2; in His Heart, is a place for us all with our variant uniqueness, if we believe, love and obey Him.
How did I make life this far? He revealed Himself to me as was suitable for the curious child that I was, asking Him after my catechism lesson about – who God is. I needed more clarification, and so, I had to personally ask the invisible Him [as I was taught, is one of His attributes] in the privacy of one of my family’s rooms, who He really is. The ethereal presence that enveloped me at that moment sufficed. I saw and felt that He was Present there with me; if you could see Love, Goodness, Peace and Tranquility, as well as Joy, all as One, you would see Him too. It was a moment of indescribable joy and peace and the awareness of love, and I did not want it to end. But from then on, my thirst to know Him more and more increased. As I grew older and faced with teenage (erroneous) exuberance and brokenness, I always resorted to my Bible, asking that He spoke to heal me. I opened It randomly at those times of prayer, and then He spoke to me and healed me. At times, troubled and sorrowful, I went for counselling in Church, and I listened attentively to homilies at Mass. And I was filled. He solves my troubles ahead of me. But when my supplications seem unanswered and my sorrow overwhelming, I try to make sense of them and offer, or rather abandon them to Him, and continue living; but living by His commandments with strength I did not think I had. I just had to put this, so you know that He has us all in mind; if only we turn to Him, He is always with us waiting for that turning point. He never lost you, He has His breath in you; He is not far, He is everywhere. You only need to turn to His waiting arms and He will meet you as He knows you can find or see Him.
Lord, that we may see, and that we may listen to Your Voice, harden not our hearts. Through Christ. Amen.
The list of His love and care is endless. What else can you add to show that He has us all in mind?
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By IfeanyiChukwu Oluwafemi Chukwudi, 6TH of May, 2020
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