Written by: Thomas Boyle, UF Student
“All things are possible for God.”
This phrase will likely evoke one of two reactions for you: “Yeah, of course” or “What a nice sounding superstition.” What is it that causes these extremely different reactions? The context might be given in how this Gospel passage from Matthew starts:
“‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
Jesus answered him, ‘Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.’“
If we presume, as the Church teaches, that God is fully good, and that Jesus is fully God, then we’ll know in our consciences that the teachings of Jesus are true, and this is aided by the theological virtue of Faith. The big first steps in the Christian life involve having faith guide you in a way that your free will tries to best conform to a God who you know is good. Through God’s grace we experience echoes of what eternal life is like first through the Sacrament of Baptism which both literally and spiritually cleanses us. If we choose to have faith in Jesus, the phrase “All things are possible for God” will be understood on a level which helps you to better love your neighbor and God.
Through this full love of God and neighbor we become better followers of Christ to whom Heaven is promised. If we reject the teachings of Christ, however, eternal life is not promised. Many who would react to the aforementioned phrase in the Gospel with doubt or skepticism write off the whole idea of being saved since the teachings of Christ and the Church seem so difficult so who could even be saved anyway?! Christ responds to us when we are doubtful in the same way he did in the Gospel when asked who could have hope of being saved: “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” It is the very virtue of faith that enables us to understand the omnipotence of God which also teaches us how live a good life in accordance with the teachings of Jesus which is the path to eternal life.
If you are like me and neglect to contemplate the limitless ability of God when we have temporary doubts in our faith lives, you might do well to reflect this Sunday on the reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew and remember the words of Jesus, “All things are possible for God.“