We are living in a secularized world which does not give much importance for religious and moral values. People are crazy with electronic media and spend their time in cyber, cinema theatre, watts app, twitter, etc. Everyone wants to enjoy life and crave for worldly pleasures. Once we have tasted the pleasures of this world, we are compelled to seek comfort again and again in the world. People seem to be least bothered about the moral and ethical principles of life. As a result our conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious mind is burdened with worries, anxieties and fear. In this context it is good to pause for a moment and reflect on our direction in life. Let’s check our thoughts, words and actions. In which direction I am moving? What is my focus in life? Where do I seek my true treasure? Whom do I take as my guide in life? And whose face do I seek constantly?
I feel that we need to seriously look into the response of the Psalmist to God. He says: “You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” The Psalmist who tasted the sweetness of God’s goodness seeks his face earnestly. Scripture says “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt 6:21). The Psalmist treasures, the face of God in his heart and finds comfort, joy and happiness in it. Yes, Jesus should be our focus.
Our heart, mind, body and soul should long for God who is holy. Is God somewhere far from us? No, not at all. God is omnipresent and he is always near to everyone. His mighty power is ever present in sustaining and governing all things. In Mt 28:20 we see the assurance of Jesus, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Yes, Jesus is present with us through his covenant commitment. He is the God who likes to be with the humans.
Jesus the second person of the Trinity took the form of a human being in order to live with us and to save the humanity from evil, sin and eternal death. This truth is proclaimed by the evangelist who says in Jn 3:16: “For God so loved the world and gave his only Son.” Now it is our primary duty to seek God constantly. We are called to set our mind and heart on God. We need to focus our mind’s attention and heart’s affection on God. God invites us in I Chro. 22:19: “Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.” Nothing can bring true comfort, joy and success other than seeking the face of God. St. Paul also urges us saying: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colo 3:1-2). When we look into the life of the saints, we find that it is God who initiates the focus on God. Significant transformation takes place when God intervenes in the life of the saints. St. Paul prays: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thess 3:5). Yes, we require a conscious effort on our part to seek the face of God. But the effort to seek God everywhere is a gift from God.
The Word of God is a powerful means to seek God’s face and His will everywhere. The advantage of memorizing the Word of God can be clearly seen in the temptations of Jesus. Jesus was asked by the devil to make bread out of stone. “But Jesus answered and said, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4). We the followers of Christ need to keep the Word of God always before our eyes. A life based on the Word of God will bring God’s blessing and material prosperity. God commands in the book of Joshua: “The book of the law shall not depart from your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night” (Josh 1:8). The Word of God must be memorised and deeply reflected upon every day and it should be translated into action. Some people ask, why should we read Bible? In honesty we can say that we can’t live without Bible. In one of the retreats I attended, the Priest directed the retreatants, saying “the Bible is God’s love letter to you. Just as you would read a love letter from someone whom you love with eager and enthusiasm, so you should read God’s love letter. Apart from the Word of God, one cannot have real and living relationship with God.”
There is only one way, if we want to be successful in life: read the Word of God. In order to be healthy we need to eat food daily. Likewise, in order to grow spiritually we need to eat the Word of God as Jeremiah did (Jer 15:16). When we treasure God’s words deep within our hearts, Jesus promises us: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” (Jn 15:7). Our God is a God of promises.It is beautiful to read the Bible and meditate on it. It gives new hope, light and vigour for our life. God offers his tender love for those who have fallen in love with God. He says in Ex 20, 6: “I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and keep my commandments”. If we have fallen in love with God we will never stop loving God more and more. The more we read the Word of God, the more we come to know him and love him. Recently I read a long list of God’s names. One of the glorious names of God in the list is Word of God. Yes, Jesus himself is the living Bible.
Seeking God’s face and reading his book need to be the first act of our everyday life. The most precious time in our life is the time when God comes into our unworthy hearts in the Eucharist and the prayerful moments that we spend with Him. Equally important is the time when we experience Jesus’ love in serving the poor and the needy. When we are directed by the Word of God we can be sure that we are leading our life according to his plan and there will be great success and contentment in all that we do. Jesus, our divine saviour we ask you to put a great desire in our hearts to seek your holy face in our fellowmen. Help us to read and understand your life giving Word which encourages us to live our life for a great cause.
Sr. Soly Kunnel SAB