I remember taking a bus to a particular destination one early morning during a school holiday. I sat by the window and did what I'd always love to do - observe people. I was feeling quite happy since I did not have to work but when I looked at the people at every bus stop and along the roads, I realised that everyone else, student or working adult, looked glum, down, sleepy and listless. Perhaps, that was also how I looked like when my holidays ended. Perhaps, this little observation of facial expressions can shed some light on the level of fulfilment we feel our lives to be.
Look at the teens roaming the streets at wee hours in the morning, those dancing seductively and getting high on alcohol or drugs at the clubs, those sitting at the void decks or parks staring into space, and even those who blast heavy metal songs into their suffering ears. Beyond the façade that they take much pride in putting up, is there peace, love, joy, security or fulfilment?
Many of us love travelling; who wouldn't welcome a holiday?! We spend hundreds and thousands on a tour, we are filled with excitement all through the holiday, we return back home at last, back to reality and then, what...? We go to work or school everyday, do what we have to do, get off school and work, then, what...? We go to a party, drink, have loads of fun and laughters, return home at the end of it all, and then, what...? We can path our way from a lowly ranking employee to the General Manager and then, what...? Today, Fr. Stephen Yim reminds us during morning mass that without Jesus, without God, even if we have all that we want, so what?
We gain nothing if we have not gained Jesus.
We love nothing if we do not love Jesus.
We lose everything if we lose Jesus.
We live for nothing if we do not live for Jesus.
Excitement takes our attention away from the void in our hearts and souls that we would otherwise be so aware of. But when we connect with the deepest part of our hearts, we know that it remains unfulfilled and being unfulfilled, it is "restless until it rests in You (Jesus)" - St. Augustine. God is the only source of goodness; peace, joy, happiness, fulfilment, mercy, graciousness, etc. If we do not live in His ways, there is no way we can obtain these gifts. Without these gifts, there is no way we can be filled and our hearts will just be an empty vessel filled with air and dust.
Life is only worth living when lived in God's ways. God's ways are that of peace, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, justice, responsibility, commitment, acceptance, love, selflessness, sacrifice, patience, understanding, etc. We know it, that these are the essential ingredients to build relationships. Every act of relating to a fellow human is an opportunity to find Christ; we find Christ in our decisions on how to relate to one another. We find Christ when we live in His ways by being an upholder of peace, justice, forgiveness, compassion, etc, to those we relate to daily. When we participate actively in God's ways and share Him with those we meet, and do it with love, out of love for God, this becomes the sole purpose of our lives, our source of fulfilment because it is God, Himself, we are filling our hearts, minds and souls with. Is there something or someone greater that could fill us more completely than Jesus?
14 October 2010