“As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.”
Our journeys are all pervaded by the longing, our souls’ continual yearning for something more: a meaning, a purpose, a reason for living this life and reasons for why things are the way they are.
We are free to ignore the longing, to forget the questions, but that is not why Jesus freed us. He freed us to wonder, to question, and to seek out the goodness in life. Our paths diverge and converge and we are continually shaped by the relationships we form along the way, as well as the truths we discover. All of it, the journey in all of its manifestations, is meant to bring us closer to God. We do not guide each other; God guides us through each other.
Today’s readings are meant to remind us of how difficult it can be to see God in one another, especially when “one another” means the people we see every single day. We know that our friends, coworkers, and family members have flaws and they also know that we have our own. That knowledge and the loving acceptance that can grow from it is beautiful in its own way, but it can also become challenging for us to see God in people that we think we know so well.
It is so challenging to see each person as new from moment to moment, but I think it is a worthwhile thing for us to focus upon. Indeed, one of the most beautiful aspects of being human is that each moment presents us with a new opportunity to make a good choice, to love as best we can. To recognize that potential in oneself is challenging enough sometimes, and to understand that it extends to all people takes even more of a concerted effort on our behalf. However, doing so will lead us towards seeing with a new light.
Let us not limit each other by the singly limited perspectives we have of each other. Rather, let us smile, open our arms, and remember that when we are rejecting, insulting, gossiping about, ignoring, and not listening to each other, we are doing so to Jesus, nailing him to the cross once again.