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Jesus: The Joy That You Seek
July 16, 2015
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness…” – St. John Paul II
It is the feast of the Passover. Jerusalem is packed with thousands upon thousands of pilgrims from all over Israel, and in fact, all over the world. They come to celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from oppression and slavery in Egypt. It is a joyful time, the high point of the Jewish year.
Jesus, too, is at the feast, but his heart is heavy. He knows the Cross awaits. He is surrounded by his disciples, loved ones, and no doubt many curious admirers clamoring for a closer view of the great prophet everyone is talking about.
Then, through the crowd surrounding Jesus, a small band of foreigners pushes their way forward. By their appearance, they are clearly Greek—Gentiles who have traveled many hundreds of miles to be present. Why had they come?
They speak to Philip: “Sir,” they said, “We wish to see Jesus.”
The Desire of Our Hearts
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” More honest words were never spoken, for indeed, whether we know it or not (and most do not), this is the cry of every human heart.
Deep within each of is an insatiable hunger for joy. The problem is, the joy that we seek is infinite, unending. Despite the many false promises of the world, the ephemeral joys it offers can never satisfy us. Our hearts are too big to be filled with sex, money, power, or anything else. The moment we taste the pleasures of the world, their satisfaction vanishes and is replaced by an even greater hunger than before.
God alone, infinite as he is, can satisfy the infinite longing of our hearts. God is the happiness that we seek.
King David of old speaks of this from experience: “‘What can bring us happiness?’ many say. Lift up the light of your face on us, O LORD. You have put into my heart a greater joy than abundance of grain and new wine can provide” (Psalm 4:7-8).
What can bring us happiness? God. He is what we were made for. He alone can satify us. As the great Father St Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
And how do we come to know God, the true desire of our hearts? How he is he revealed to us? In the face of his Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is the fullness of the revelation of who God is. To find eternal happiness, then, we must know and possess Jesus Christ.
The Good News is, Christ has not left us alone. “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world,” he promises. Though we often seek to fill our hearts with so many false idols, Christ never stops waiting for us. “Come to me all you with restless, empty hearts,” he says, “and I will give you rest.”
In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus desires to unite himself to us in the most profound and complete manner. He desires to fill us with joy, to give us a share in his Divine life. He endures disrespect, scorn, and hatred so that you can be filled with the Bread of Angels, the holy Food that alone can satisfy your hunger.
We wish to see Jesus…
There are millions upon millions of souls on this planet who desire to know Jesus Christ. True, many of them do not realize that this is their desire. But they long for happiness. Infinite, unending happiness. This is the universal human desire. Deep in their hearts, there is a quite ache that whispers, “We wish to see Jesus.”
The question is, are we like the disciple Philip? Can we lead people to Jesus, the joy that they seek? Are we the kind of men that people will seek out when they wish to know more about Christ? Are we truly evangelists?
To be an evangelist is to be an envoy, a messenger of happiness—for it is impossible to know Jesus Christ and not desire to share the joy he brings. But the only way we can lead people to Jesus is if we first know him first ourselves. Not just know about him, but truly know him. Do you ?
To possess true and lasting joy, we must seek the face of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Like the Greeks at the Passover, we must leave everything behind and seek him, no matter how hard or long the journey.
May the cry of our hearts never cease to be, “We wish to see Jesus,” and may we never rest until we find him.
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