By FATHER DAMIEN GIAP     10/6/2022

We are all precious gifts from God. We were intentionally created by Him to serve a unique purpose in His grand plan. Whoever you are and however God has wonderfully made you, you have an integral role to play, and it is essential that you discover that role and fulfill it to the very best of your ability. We must all understand that if we choose not to walk the path that God has prepared for us, if we choose not to use our unique gifts and talents to serve Him and His people, if we don’t fulfill our purpose, it simply won’t get done. No one can do it for us. We are invaluable to Him. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

God calls us to glorify Him from our conception to our natural death. Once we accept the idea that God has a plan for our life, then we must respect and protect our own right, and the rights of others, to humbly anticipate a lifetime of opportunity to fulfill our important purpose. Every being in God’s amazing creation must be afforded the opportunity to complete the important mission that God has for them. Life is sacred and, as such, our purpose as planned by God is part of His carefully designed creation, a
good, sacred and pleasing thing to Him. “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”

We are His temples. Where does our God live? Where can we find Him moving among us? We know that he is everywhere and that he is in all things, but can we find him in our neighbor, and can we find him in ourselves? Are we not His dwelling place? Isn’t it true that we are temples of the most Holy Spirit and that we were bought at a high and dear price? In the Old Testament, the temple was a very special place, a sacred place, a holy place. If we are temples of God, then we too are sacred and holy places where He chooses to dwell and therefore we must take care of ourselves both spiritually and physically. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

God doesn’t make mistakes. His perfection and greatness are proof of that undeniable truth. His greatness is infinite. His ability to do all things and comprehend all matters affirm His perfection. He has a purpose in everything he does, and outcomes are never a surprise to Him. His infinite power, infinite wisdom and infinite goodness reinforce His creation of a perfect world that on the sixth day he proclaimed as “very good”. “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”

We are stewards of God’s creation. Loving and serving our God means participating as stewards of His creation. As those stewards we are not simply called to “serve” but to “preserve.” In order for us to accomplish this we must set aside our own wants and desires and focus on the best interests and well-being of all of God’s creation and the importance of every life’s contribution to His grand plan. Our mission then is to carefully discern that plan and then serve, as well as preserve, all life as stewards of that creation with great hope and abundant joy. “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

Father Damian is a Norbertine Father who resides at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa.