Why are we here on earth?-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Saturday, March 9, 2013
IN my childhood this was the first question in the catechism I had to learn. And the answer I had to learn by heart: ‘We are here on earth to serve God and through this to go to heaven’. How do you serve God? How does God look like? What is heaven?
There are many different answers to each of these questions.
As a child, I thought that you serve God when you fight the temptations that come into your life. And the biggest temptation in your life was always the temptation against the sixth commandment, chastity.
Over the years I have matured and I have learned more mature answers to these questions. A lot of people, I believe, still get stuck in the old outlook on life. Others have no outlook at all regarding these questions.
In the first place, who is God? How does He look like? Nobody has ever seen God, except maybe in dreams or hallucinations.
In the Old Testament it says that God appeared to Moses. When Moses asked, “Who are you?” God answered: ‘I am Yahweh’. That means something like: I am the only one who really is. God is the source of everybody and everything that is.
From Jesus of Nazareth we learned that God is our Father in heaven. From him we learned also that he was sent by the Father to become one of us, to become human, to become a man. And then he showed us also, who is God, how does God look like. God is a friend. His face is friendship. Seeking his face is becoming a friend of God. But you can only become a friend of God by becoming a friend of your fellow men. Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself.
That is clearly the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. He himself showed through his life that you can become friends of each other by becoming a servant of the people, committing your life and all that you have to serving the people. Jesus of Nazareth shows also what that means: he himself was nailed to the Cross as a criminal. But we know from him also that we can follow his example and do the same, because through his Resurrection he gave us the grace, the Spirit and the power to do the same. If you don’t do that, you are not really serving God, but only yourself. Jesus is very clear in this.
That is what Christian life is all about: to serve God by serving your fellowmen. That is why we are here on earth. For that purpose we were created by God. I don’t intend through this column to give a sermon. You may believe me or you may not. But then let us agree that we disagree, so that at least we can remain friends.
(For your comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 10, 2013.