Why Did God Make Us?
Do the answers to this question which you learned as you grew up still satisfy you? St. Paul’s eloquence in his letter to the Ephesians (1:3-6) on this subject is summed up in our Catechism thus: God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.
Paul writes that God created us with the intent of adopting us as His children “blameless down before Him in love, preordaining us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Him”. In response to this gift, we are to worship Him in love. Worship in this sense had two dimensions: praise of the Father and fellowship with the Son and His followers. Such worship was not restricted to Sunday mornings; it began with the assembly, but spilled out into the week’s activities. Such worship was to be found in praise and charity.
Those who humbly try to avoid praise are, sometimes, lavished with honour. They respond with surprise or remarks that attempt to deflect the spotlight. They act with humility many times because they feel they did not earn the honour bestowed. The honour was, in a sense, a gift. Two millennia ago, a young woman tried to deflect an honour given her, but the giver and the gift were too great to be ignored. Mary’s response revealed her character. She protested to Gabriel so she could protect her honour and the honour of her family. But she gave up all that for a higher honour, one she did not deserve, but one that she was made for. God created her to be the mother of His Son. In this way, she showed herself to be a faithful Jew and the first follower of the One she would bear into the world.
The Lord destined us to live blameless lives. While this is a daunting task, the Church presented us with this model of Mary to help us. We celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception this Thursday with this notion in mind. Mary’s response showed us that she was a blameless and willing vessel for God’s providence. We honour her for the favour the Father showed her and for her positive response. The Church proclaimed her to be holy and blameless in the eyes of the Lord from the moment of her conception. She was preordained to serve the Lord in love.
Reflecting on the Immaculate Conception might help us to answer the title question – What were we made for? She is what we are called to be, because her role in the birth of the Christ should remind us of our role in the world, to serve the Lord with blameless and holy hearts
How can we respond to God’s call in the same way Mary responded to hers?
How can we know, love, and serve God right now? This week?
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