We should always look for Christ
Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
By Fr. Roy Cimagala
If we really know who we are and who we are supposed to be, it should be kind of instinctive to us to always look for Christ. After all, Christ is the pattern of our humanity, the savior of our damaged humanity. We are supposed to be like him.
We have to overcome our strong tendency to look for something or someone else, other than Christ. Let us always remember that we are supposed to be “alter Christus” (another Christ), if not “ipse Christus” (Christ himself).
In the gospel of Tuesday within the octave of Easter (Jn 20,11-18), we are told about Mary Magdala weeping outside the tomb of Christ because she could not anymore find Christ’s body. She was so driven to see the body of Christ after the Sabbath that she had to get up early in the morning to get to the tomb.
May that eagerness of hers be also ours, because in the end that is what truly is proper to us. When we do not have such eagerness, the only alternative is for us to look only after ourselves. It’s always a choice between Christ and us. Are we for Christ or for ourselves?
That is why we have to develop a strong and deep-seated habit of looking for Christ in everything that we do and that happens in our life. The ideal state is that at the end of the day we can say that we have been looking for Christ and have been with him, if not the whole day then at least a good part of the day.
Yes, we are truly meant to look for Christ always. Only then can we expect to find him. And only when we find him can we learn to love and serve him. How can we love him, if we don’t find him? And how can we find him, if we don’t look for him?
Actively looking for him prevents us from simply drifting in any which way in our life. Looking for him does not actually restrict or narrow our view of life. Rather, the opposite—it widens and deepens our perspectives. We would see the complete picture and know how to integrate the varying and seemingly conflicting values in life.
We need to be wary of the temptation, very subtly and cleverly suggested by the devil, that taking this business of God and religion seriously would hamper our freedom.
The question may be asked if God can truly be found by us. The question actually raises the reality of faith. For those who have faith, obviously God can be found since not only is he everywhere, but also it’s his nature to love us, to be with us, to intervene in our life, to govern and lead us to himself.
Now that we are in the liturgical season of Easter, this truth about God intervening in our life is highlighted. In all his apparitions to Mary Magdalene and his disciples, the common thing stressed is that he is now forever alive and actively intervening in our lives. We need to look for him.
Yes, we have to seek God with our utmost effort, echoing this sentiment of David when he got lost in the wilderness: “O God, you are my God. I earnestly seek you. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Ps 63,1)