What a consoling and reassuring psalm! It should always be in our heart and on our lips. It is what gives light when darkness descends on our life. It makes a life-stirring impulse when things seem to be dead.
Psalm 130,7 tells us where we can find this guaranteed mercy and fullness of redemption. It is with God who has deigned to become man and to assume all our sins, rendering death to them with his own death on the cross, and conquering them with his resurrection.
We should have no doubt whatsoever that on the part of God, everything is already given to us so we can be what we ought to be — children of God, sharers of God’s life. Any doubt in this regard can only come from the devil.
Whatever happens in our life, as long as we are open to God’s will and ways, even if that openness is unarticulated, God’s mercy will always have the last word. Our redemption is assured. God’s will is clearly for our redemption, though we, free as we are, can reject that divine will.
Yes, we may die with sins still in our hearts, with failures and weaknesses still unresolved, but as long as we are open to God’s mercy by not blaspheming the Holy Spirit which is the only sin that cannot be forgiven, our redemption would be at hand.
Remember Christ just moments before giving up his spirit. “Forgive them, Father,” he said, “for they know not what they are doing.” (Lk 23, 34) He even looked for excuses for those who crucified him! And let’s also remember that we, with all our sins, contribute in the end in the crucifixion of Christ.
This does not mean that we do not do our part in our own redemption. Christ himself has clearly told us what to do — from denying ourselves and carrying our cross, to praying without ceasing, to following the Church authorities, etc. What he wants us to do are clearly spelled out in the commandments that he gave and the many promptings and inspirations that can come to us like a wind that blows from nowhere.
We should avoid falling into presumption and even tempting God. God wants us to give our all to him just as he gives his all also to us. He has given us various instruments so we can attain the fullness of our humanity, as attested by St. Paul when he said:
“God gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” (Eph 4, 11-13)
Let us take full advantage of everything that God has given us not only for our redemption but also for the perfection of our humanity. God wants us recovered in our fullness, not only partially.
Of course, in the gospel Christ once said that in our struggle to enter heaven, we should be willing to lose an eye or an arm if that should become necessary (cfr. Mt 18, 8-9). But once we get to heaven, everything that we lose here on earth due to our struggles will be restored in full.
Again, it’s good to repeat in our mind, heart and lips that reassuring psalm of God’s mercy and the fullness of his redemption so that we would always be motivated by God’s love in all our earthly affairs, especially when we encounter difficulties, setbacks, failures, and even temptations and sin.
That would surely enliven our faith and keep us united with God in all the events of our day.
Fr. Roy Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Talamban, Cebu City (email@example.com)/WDJ