Occasionally in life we get bugged by the question about the meaning of our life. Sometimes it remains in our inner self for a longer period of time begging for an answer, depending on the events of life that triggered it. It comes and goes, sometimes gently, sometimes violently, like a wave in our inside ebbing away or crashing against us. It niggles, it provokes and speaks, “What is my purpose in life?”
We seek far and we seek wide. We look high and low. We search externally into the physical world and then finally, internally into our self-preserving self. We try almost everything without finding the answer. There is an answer but it lies beyond the defences of self-preservation. We must realise that we cannot ‘go it alone’ in this world. People’s lives, even strangers to us, are inter-linked with one another more than we are willing to accept.
Not above, but in the maze of these relationship and in the thick of things, God exist with a Purpose that will help us navigate through the alleys of life. We will never find our own purpose in life unless our purpose lies in God’s purpose.
God has one purpose. God is the source of love. God love each one of us generously and unconditionally, without exception, regardless if we are a church-goer or church-leaver, believer or nonbeliever. He desires for us to accept his love more that he desires for us to believe in him as God. Such humble unconditional generosity. God’s purpose is to love us and in order to make his love visible and felt, he calls for each of us to personify his love to the person next to us.
God’s purpose is simply to love. True love is unselfish. It ask that we die to self; that we generously share our time and our talent with every person around us. True love is to love the person next to you, stranger or friend. And God wills that we accept his love to love ourselves and others. This is our purpose in life: to do this will of God to accept his love and allow this love to flow through us to each other. Only in this purpose will we find the fullness of life and satisfy the bugging niggle in our inner self.
We are all rich in this love. It is continuously poured into us. “And it is my desire to lavish my love on you” (1 John 3:1). We will get even richer when we pass this on. But first we must accept his love into us for our life to be transformed. Then through us, love flows to transform others. God’s purpose becomes our purpose; His will becomes our mission.
We need to leap the barriers of self-preservation. Sometimes we harbour a misconception that our mission is to love and take care only of our personal self and the interests of our immediate family. It really goes beyond that unit.
Today’s Gospel passage enlightens us.
He replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers? And looking around at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother”.
I would like to share a commentary from Rev Fr John Foley, SJ:
“Some have taken this speech as Jesus rejecting Mary and his other relatives. Actually it is a statement of Jesus’ mission. He is showing that the most important reason for life is the love of God and one’s neighbours, as opposed to the easy and presumably self-enclosed way of staying home where relatives will take care of you.
Growth in this kind of love must come from God. As Jesus says: ‘Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother’. He is widening our life-search to include others, not instead of the family but including them in the overall purpose of life itself: letting in the love of God and passing it along to everyone we know.”
Let love flow. Spread it.
10th Sunday in Ordinary Time