Sunday, January 14, 2018

What are you looking for?

Jesus asked Andrew and John: "What are you looking for?"  This is a question that all of us ask ourselves or others many times during our lives.  We may be looking for something or someone.   In fact, we might not even know what we are looking for.
Another way of asking this question would be: "What do you worship?"  We find our identity in what we worship.  We may worship sports figures, politicians, movie stars, or just money or fame.  If we are worshipping anyone or anything else other than Jesus, we are confused and are off track.
In our culture today, I suspect that the most popular answer would be a relationship, then maybe money, then fame.  I suspect that few people would respond that they are looking for Jesus, instead of someone else or something.  But, if we really understood our basic needs, that would be the answer many of us would give. 
St Augustine said:  "our hearts are restless until they rest in you, Lord."   All of us are searching, all of us are looking,  all of us are restless.  And the only thing that satisfies us is the Lord. 
We might be looking for happiness in the wrong places. We might expect our spouse to give us complete happiness.  And sometimes we can be very happy in our marriage relationship.  But, this isn't the ultimate happiness that all of us seek. 
We also might look to things for happiness.  We get a new car and it satisfies us for a short time.  Then, we get tired of it and begin to look for something else.  We cannot find happiness in any thing.  The more things we have the more we need and the less they satisfy us. 
We might also look to new experiences for happiness.  We might look forward to an exciting vacation or an adventure.  But, when these are over, we are still searching for happiness.
Many years ago, a friend told me about the trips he took by himself to the highest mountain in both North America and in South America.  These were exciting, dangerous, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for him.  But, ultimately, they didn't satisfy him.  Then, he looked for an even more exciting adventure.  I've lost touch with him.  But, I wondered what he did next.
Andrew and John responded to Jesus question by asking him: "Where are you staying?"  Initially, I thought that this was an odd response.  But, John the Baptist had told them that Jesus was the Lamb of God, the Messiah.  So, Andrew and John just wanted to spend some time with Jesus, to hang out with him, to get to know him. 
This would be a good response for all of us in answer to our restlessness.  We need to spend some quiet time with Jesus.  We can spend time with him at mass after we receive him in the Eucharist.  And, we might spend time in Adoration, some one on one time with Jesus.  During these times, we develop a relationship with Jesus.  We get to know who he is and can begin to satisfy the longing in our hearts. 
Jesus told Andrew and John:  "Come and you will see."  This is his answer to our questioning.  Come, follow me.  Come, spend some time with me.  See the love that I have for you.  Peace be with you. 
He wants to make it easy for us.   We can just hang out with him and we will be happy.  It sounds so easy, doesn't it.  Why do we make it so hard?  Why do we have to follow our will instead of his will?   Why do we often ignore his commandments?  Why aren't we at mass more often?  Why don't we appreciate receiving him in Holy Communion?  Why do we question His Church?  Why is it so difficult for us to pray?
He wants to open our eyes so that we can see Him - the way, the truth, and the light.  He wants to take us out of darkness into the light of his love.  He sends us the Holy Spirit, the advocate, to help us on the our journey, to bring us closer to Him.

Hopefully, most of us will find the ultimate happiness Jesus offers us.  Then, we will be rewarded by hearing Jesus words to us at the end of our journey: "Well done my good and faithful servant, now enter into the kingdom of heaven."  Then, our search will be over, we can stop looking, we will have found the answer, the destination, the goal.  And we can just rest in the arms of the Father.