By Fr. Charles Irvin
What I want to say to you is that you are significant in God’s great scheme of things. Let me point out two things about each one of you. Each one of you has his or her own completely unique DNA coding. No one who ever was, or who is living now, or whoever will live in the future can have your DNA coding. You are completely one of a kind. No one else will ever be exactly like you. Even if you are someone’s identical twin, your twin will not be who you are. Moreover, there are your fingerprints. No one who ever was, or who is now, or who will yet be born will ever have your fingerprints. They are completely unique to you. They identify only you.
That said, let me go on to point out that only you can love God just as you. While God has brought billions of other people into existence, He has never made anyone else just like you. That said, if you don’t love God as who you are then He will never be loved like that by anyone else. You are special. See how significant you are in the eyes of God and in the heart of God? You are very special to God… very important to Him. Let me say it again: there will never be another you and if you don’t love God just as who you are He will never be loved like that… ever!
Here’s another thing. You play a significant role in the lives of those around you. Your example in dealing with life is significant and important for those around you who know you. Life is unfair. Life is difficult. Life brings suffering… a lot of suffering… with it. How you deal with it will be very significant to any number of people who know you. But life has its joys, too. Life brings good fortune and happiness to us. How you handle success, along with the generosity in your heart, can be of great significance to people who know you. How you handle both success and failure has a significant impact on others.
The great prophet Isaiah had to deal with failure, even near despair. At times he sounded as if he were experiencing burnout. Said he: Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. (Isaiah 49:4)
Let me point out that each one of you here was formed by God in your mother’s womb. Each one of you here has a destiny that God has given you. God knew you in your mother’s womb. This brings me to the matter of your faith, your spirituality, and your religious devotion. You may never know what significance you have in the hearts and souls of people who know you. You many never know how your faith has built up the faith of those around you… especially members of your family and your close friends. You may not realize what God is doing with your life. But God knows of your importance even though you may not realize it yourself.
Have faith, then. Have faith based on what Jesus said of John the Baptist: Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11)
Greatness in the eyes of this world doesn’t amount to much — or last very long. What matters, and what is everlasting, is your greatness in the eyes of God. What matters is your response to the love in God’s heart for you in your uniqueness, in your individuality, in your importance to Him in His great scheme of things.
Each one of us, no matter how little we may consider ourselves to be, is important to God and is important to others as well.
Fr. Charles Irvin was a priest of the Diocese of Lansing. He passed into eternity on February 11, 2021. May God rest his soul.