"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world." — C.S Lewis
Gospel text (Jn 17,11b-19):
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
Do you ever feel like you are at the wrong place, at the wrong time? Of course you have; we all feel that way sometimes, but I’m asking about the big picture: has the question ever arisen, “Why am I on this earth?”
A sad but true fact is that this world we live in is not as constantly beautiful as we wish it were. It is filled with lust, hatred, violence, greed, and any other act associated with the devaluing of God’s creation; I cannot turn on the evening news without seeing some mention of murder, acts of terrorism, etc. But as sad as the world is, it is just as promising and glorious. And the glory lies within you and me.
Perhaps the hardest of challenges that are placed on our shoulders the instant we call ourselves Christians is the challenge of choosing God in public. For example, I always say a prayer of blessing prior to eating a meal in the comfort of my own home. But at the very same time, when out with a group of friends at a restaurant, my prayer life becomes rusty at best. It’s as if I am afraid to ‘show myself’ in its deepest sense to the rest of the world. Yet, I am wearing a cross necklace around my neck! Cowardly? You got it.
This world we live in is one that places high emphasis on interaction: our connections with others and the world itself. While this can be seen as a nice utopia, the phrase “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing” could not be more appropriate. We, in my opinion, over evaluate our connections to the extent that our basis of being human is dependent solely on our standings in society, compared to those of our fellow brothers and sisters. We have ventured away from demonstrating a level of love…we have instead become every man and woman for themselves.
The solution? If we truly carry the cross as we claim we do, then it is inevitable for us to show the world our faith. Our purpose on this earth is simply not our purpose, but rather God’s. It is highly difficult to live a life of faith, but that is what faith is.
Today then let us live with the joy of Jesus. How can we acquire more and more of this joy of Jesus? Obviously from Jesus himself. Jesus is the only one who gives us the true joy that the world is lacking as we see in the soaps on TV. Jesus said, «If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you» (Jn 15,7). Then let us spend time each day in prayer with the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let us eat and consume the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let them be our food, so that we may be satiated with the joy of Jesus: «Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon» (Benedict XVI).