Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Today’s readings

“Athirst is my soul for the Living God.”

The Psalmist today sums up what is going on in the entire Liturgy of the Word.  In the book of Acts, we see that even the Gentiles seek salvation in Christ, and Peter learns that those God has called to holiness cannot be treated as unclean.  In the Gospel, we have the image of the Good Shepherd – a bit of a re-run from yesterday – whose voice the faithful hear in the depths of their hearts.

At the core of our creation, all of us – and not just the “us” who are here in this church or tuning in online, but all people – all of us yearn for the Living God.  This is not surprising, because God made us – all of us – for himself, in his own image.  This is an important point for us Christians to get: God made all of us, created us good, created us for himself.  And so, deep down inside, every person yearns for the Living God.

And it’s this realization that makes our lack of unity so very troublesome; it’s this realization that puts the work of evangelization on the front burner.  God created only one People and Christ established only one Church.  God made us to be one, and one with him, and it is sin that has driven us apart and kept us apart for so very, very long.

And so our goal as God’s people is to become one in him who made us, and one in him who redeemed us.  The work of evangelization is so important because God’s creation will not be complete until all of us are one.  And so we disciples have to make it our life’s vocation to see to it that everyone who knows us hears Christ in us, we have to open doors so that people can come to Christ and we have to tear down barriers of hostility or elitism.  The souls of every person cry out, “Athirst is my soul for the Living God.”  Who, then, are we to hinder God’s unifying work?

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter 

Today’s readings 

When God made the human person, he put into him and her a hunger and a thirst that could only be filled up with God. God made us for himself, because he is Love itself and Love must always have an object of that love. As Saint Augustine said well, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” The Psalmist also says that today in his words:

As the hind longs for the running waters,

so my soul longs for you, O God.

Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Given that all people are created with this spiritual hunger, it should not have come as a huge shock to the circumcised believers that many Gentiles were turning to follow Christ. Christ showed us the most perfect way to the Father, the only One who can fill up all the longings of the human heart. Every conversion story is a return of the soul to our God; a filling up of the heart with what it really lacks.

We try to fill up our lives with all kinds of things. We turn on the television to drown out the silence. We seek refuge in food and drink and career and even darker things. But all of this is nothing more than a misguided attempt to fill up our lives with things that do not matter. We can only fill ourselves up with what we truly long for: God himself.

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