RESTLESSNESS AND EMPTINESS

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time           

            We spend much of our life “looking for” something or someone. For some it revolves around “looking for” a better life – meaning ‘better’ source of income – to earn more, to save more, to buy more, to get more, to have more of more. For some it revolves around “looking for” the solution to a problem, or the cure to a disease, or the answer to a question. For some it revolves around “looking for” a greater purpose, deeper meaning, and fulfillment in life. This “looking for” something or someone is an indication of the dissatisfaction, restlessness, and emptiness we experience in our life.

            The tragic reality is that we often do not recognize the source of our restlessness or emptiness. And even without recognizing or knowing the source of our restlessness and emptiness, we try hard to fill and satisfy it with various things in various ways. Kung anu-anong bagay ang sinusubok natin na ipangpuno rito – na nagpapamanhid lang sa tunay na ninanasa ng puso natin. They anaesthetize our longings but do not fulfill them.

            We learn – hopefully soon enough – that the things we try “to fill” our lives with would only leave us emptier. We know very well that it is only God who can fulfill our greatest needs. It is only God who can satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts.

            I want to invite you to dwell on this question: What are you looking for? This question is taken directly from today’s gospel passage. Jesus asks two of John the Baptist’s disciples: “What are you looking for?” Needless to say, this is a question addressed to each of us too. It is an overall life question. Batid naman natin kung gaano kahalaga ang tanong na ito.

            We are all looking or seeking for something. We seek for love, for acceptance, for understanding. We seek for a more abundant life. We seek for the fullness of life.

            Muli, ano nga ba ang hinahanap natin sa buhay? If we are only looking for material wealth and possessions, if we are only looking for financial security and prosperity, if we are only looking for political power and influence, if we are only looking for success and achievement, if we are only looking for convenience and comfort, if we are only looking for thrill and excitement, if we are only looking for worldly entertainment and pleasure, we will be greatly disappointed, and Jesus will be useless to us.

            What should we look for? Or who should we look for? Supposedly, this is easy to answer and the answer is clear. But in real life, what actually happens is quite different from the answer we want to give. Indeed, we should be looking for Jesus. Because he alone can fill the emptiness in our life; he alone can satisfy our deepest hunger and thirst; he alone can dispel the darkness that afflicts. We are searching for Jesus because he alone can give us a more abundant life… he alone can lead us to the fullness of life.

            Balikan natin ‘yung dalawang alagad ni Juan Bautista sa gospel story natin… Nang ituro ni Juan sa kanila si Hesus at sinabing, “Behold, the lamb of God… Narito ang kordero ng Diyos,” nagsimulang sumunod ang dalawa kay Hesus. Lumingon si Hesus at nakitang sumusunod ang dalawa, kaya tinanong niya ang mga ito: “What are you looking for?” Katumbas nito ang pagtatanong na: “What do you want?”

            The disciples simply ask, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Another translation is: “Where do you live?” Nais nilang malaman kung saan naninirahan si Hesus, saan sila maaaring sumama at marahil makipag-usap, makipagkwentuhan – maglaan ng panahon sa tahanan niya. They want to know what it is to be around Jesus, to be in the place where he lives.

            Jesus tells them, “Come, and you will see.” “Come, and see where I live.” “Come, and spend time with me… Get to know me.” That is the invitation to us. The gospel says, “So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day.” They went willingly to his place.

            “Come and see. Come, see where I live. Come, stay with me. Come, spend time with me… Get to know me.” Ito rin ang paanyaya ni Hesus sa bawat isa sa atin. Sana buksan natin ang puso natin para mapakinggan at matugunan natin ang paanyayang ito. Jesus is offering an invitation to come into the House of God. It is an invitation to enter into God’s dwelling place.

            If somehow you feel that there is something missing in your life, or somehow you feel that you are busy with many things and exhausted or you are just sitting there and nothing is ever going to happen… go to Jesus and listen to him… listen to his invitation. Let your going to Jesus be a manifestation of your desire to start a new life, with a new focus, a new heart, a new soul.

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