I MEAN it’s God’s work, first of all, before it is ours. This business of our creation and redemption is begun by God and he also will be the one to complete and perfect it. (cfr. Phil 1, 6) On our own, we cannot. Neither did we begin it nor will we be able by ourselves to complete it. Only God began and will finish our creation and redemption.
Obviously our creation and redemption can be likened to a joint effort between God and man. That is because we have been created to be like him, able to know and love. As such we are meant to cooperate with God in our own creation and redemption.
Thus, while God will do everything to carry out our creation and redemption to completion, we also are expected to do everything to cooperate. It’s like a 100 percent – 100 percent proposition, even if our all-out cooperation can never compare to God’s effort to create and redeem us.
This is, of course, a proposition that goes beyond mathematical laws, since we are not dealing here with merely quantifiable elements as much as with spiritual realities, ruled mainly by faith, hope and charity. In this latter system, the law that is followed is the all-or-nothing rule.
This means that the 100 percent we are supposed to give is not a 100 percent exclusive of God’s 100 percent. Rather, it is a 100 percent that reflects and channels God’s 100 percent. It’s a 100 percent that is homogeneous, not heterogeneous, to the 100 percent of God.
In short, this 100 percent – 100 percent proposition we are talking about expresses the ideal proper to us in that we should try our best to achieve a total identification with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. We should do everything with God, beginning things with him as well as ending them with him.
Said from another angle, we can say that every time we try to do all we can to resolve our temporal affairs, we should try to approximate our total identification with Christ who also went all the way to redeem us by offering his life on the cross. Yes, we have to be ready for the cross which, whether we like it or not, cannot be avoided in our life.
Christ did not simply preach and perform miracles, he did not simply amaze the crowd with his gracious words and marvellous cures. He went all the way to offer his life, showing us that his love for us is to the extreme, since he said, “No one has greater love than he who offers his life for his friends.” (Jn 15, 13) He was willing to assume all our sins even if he himself did not commit any sin.
Every time therefore that we do our all we can, making use of whatever astuteness and cleverness we have to handle our earthly affairs, we should be keeping Christ more alive in us.
Far from separating us from Christ, our active involvement in the things of the world, if done properly, would keep us close to Christ. The world is no obstacle in our relation with God, if we keep this 100 percent – 100 percent proposition in mind.
And even if our 100 percent cannot be compared to God’s 100 percent, we should just be reassured by what Christ told us: that the little we do, if done with love for God, can acquire tremendous power and produce abundant fruit.
Yes, with a little help from us the full wonder of God’s grace would be revealed to us. This was articulated by Christ himself when he compared the Kingdom of God to how a seed grows. (cfr. Mk 4, 26-34)
“It is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”/PN