12 January 2023

Are you looking for him?

1st Week OT (W)

Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP
St. Albert the Great, Irving

Everyone is looking for Jesus? Literally, everyone? Every creature capable of forming intent and seeing that intent carried out? Not just those who've recently heard him preach and witnessed him heal but all rational creatures everywhere? Like most things Catholic, the answer is yes and no. Obviously, Simon is saying something like: “You were among us earlier, then you just disappeared. We've been trying to find you ever since!” But Simon's simple declarative sentence is also a revelation, an unveiling of a fundamental truth about all men and women throughout history: we are always and everywhere looking for our salvation. We are always and everywhere looking for our perfection in the divine person of Christ Jesus. The CCC puts it this way: “God [...] freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life”(1). We were made so that we might come to share in the divine life of the Blessed Trinity. That's our created purpose, our end. We experience this purpose as a longing, a desire for completion and fulfillment. In our fallen state, we often attempt to satisfy this desire for perfection by choosing to give ourselves to lesser goods. Food, sex, power, wealth, all the usual suspects that compete for our love. In vain, we try to fill the God-shaped hole in our lives with things that are less-than-God. When we do this, we settle for an idol, a false god, and our search for completion comes to an unhappy end. The unclean spirits move in and feed on our despair. Never abandoning us to our own stupidity, Christ comes and shows us the Real Deal, the divine life we were created to enjoy. Then we can see that our idols are deaf, dumb, blind, and totally useless in seeing us to our perfection. Then – free from our slavery to merely created things – we can turn again to the Father, coming back again to our desire to live with Him forever. When you hear Simon say to Jesus, “Everyone is looking for you,” do you include yourself in that everyone? You and I are always among those who desire him. Even in our sin, we long for God. But do you freely look for Him, seek Him out? Do you freely choose Him as your Lord, or do you give that honor to a lesser good? Every breath we draw is a choice to live free in Christ, or to die enslaved to made things. Christ died for you. No made thing can. 

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