WE LOOKING FOR?
The first words that Jesus speaks in John’s Gospel leave us shaken, because they go straight to the heart and touch the very roots of our life. To two of the Baptist’s disciples who are starting to follow Jesus, he says: «What are you looking for?».
From within a «closed» culture like ours, it’s not easy to respond to this simple, direct and fundamental question, a culture that seems to be concerned only about the means, but always forgetting the final goal of everything. «What exactly is it that we are looking for?».
For some, life is «a huge supermarket» (D. Solle), and the only things that are interesting to them is acquiring objects to soothe their existence for just a little while. What others seek is to escape sickness, loneliness, sadness, conflicts or fear. But escape – to where? to whom?
Others can’t take any more. What they want is to be left alone. To forget everyone else and be forgotten by everyone. Don’t worry about anyone and no one worries about you. Most people simply seek to meet our daily needs and keep fighting to see our puny desires fulfilled. But even though all of these desires would be fulfilled, would our heart be satisfied? Would our thirst for consolation, liberation and complete happiness have been appeased?
What it all comes down to is this: don’t we human beings go about seeking something more than a simple betterment of our situation? Don’t we desire something that certainly can’t be expected from any political or social project?
It’s said that today’s men and women have forgotten God. But the truth is that, when a person questions self with just a little honesty, it’s not easy to wipe from the heart «the nostalgia for the infinite».
Who am I? A miniscule being, raised up to plow on a miserable plot of space and time, cast into life in order to disappear quickly into nothing, from which I’ve been cast out without rhyme or reason, just to suffer? Is that all there is? Nothing more?
The most honorable thing a person can do is «seek«. Don’t close any door. Don’t pass by any call. Look for God, maybe with the last smidgen of energy and of faith. Maybe from mediocrity, anguish or discouragement.
God doesn’t play hide and seek, nor does God hide Self from anyone who looks for God sincerely. God is already at the heart of that search. Even more. God allow Self to be encountered even by those who barely seek God. Thus says the Lord in the book of Isaiah: «I have let myself be approached by those who did not consult me, I have let myself be found by those who did not seek me» (Isaiah 65,1-2).
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf