If you could ask the Lord for one thing, just one thing, what would it be? I used to play a game with friends when I was young where we would ask each other the one thing we wanted more than anything else. The answers were usually something like wealth and fame, or to live forever. Clearly we had some pretty superficial dreams.
However, as I grew and matured I began to ask myself, “What good would it do me to have all the money in the world if I didn’t have love?” I would be miserable. I had a comfortable life. I wasn’t suffering, but I knew something was missing. I can still remember when I found what my heart was really longing for.
Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy true love. True love by it’s very definition is God. St. John tells us, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). To want all the money and fame possible in this world is a most selfish wish, and it’s where we start in this life. In our fallen state of sin, we are attached to the world and detached from God.
As we grow and learn in this life, we become conscious that someone other worldly is out there calling to us. That someone is God. From before we are born He is seeking us. His divine providence has orchestrated things such that we humans have encounters with Him in this world. To encounter the beauty of nature is to encounter the goodness of our Creator. However, the greatest and fullest of all encounters is found in the person of Jesus Christ. God took on human flesh to become our kinsman redeemer.
Psalm 27 is the song of the Church calling out to God in faith and love. The psalmist begins (verses 1-3) in faith knowing that the LORD (Jesus) is his light and salvation. No one and nothing can harm him, because he knows he is the LORD’s most prized possession. Such knowledge leads the psalmist to ask only one thing of the LORD – to dwell with Him forever (Psalm 27:4).
I will never forget the Good Friday service when I realized how much Jesus loved me. I had heard His story all my life, but I hadn’t fallen in love with Him. But that Good Friday I was sitting in a darkened church experiencing what was called Living Pictures of Easter. As I watched a live man playing the role of Jesus, stripped, beaten, and hung on a cross, I felt in my heart what I had always known in my head – He died for me.
That night I found the real meaning of love, and my only response was to love Him back… more than ever. Loving Jesus Christ more than anything or anyone is the purpose of our lives. Our journey to such a relationship is like a pilgrimage on which we move from one holy place to another encountering the Living Christ through the events of our lives. The psalmist knew he could always count on the LORD to deliver him, no matter the danger (Psalm 27:5-12).
When we open the eyes of our hearts to the love of God that surrounds us, to the providential care of His will for our lives, we find ourselves in sweet communion with Christ. He led me to that Good Friday service, and He wants to lead you to a special encounter as well. It’s in those special encounters we realize that with Christ in our lives we have all we really need. Then we can be strong and courageous. Then we can say with assurance, as did the psalmist, “I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!” (Psalm 27:13)
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