Who Do You Say I Am?

The 3 Desires Of Our Hearts

I attended an RCIA session this week where Fr Jude gave a talk on the three most fundamental desires of the human heart. They are:

  1. The desire to be loved
  2. The desire for truth
  3. The desire for beauty

Think about it: Everything we do is driven by these fundamental desires for love, truth and beauty.

Love: We strive to gain money and fame because we believe that it will cause others to love us. We long to gain our parents’ acceptance. Lonely hearts turn to pornography and bad relationships to fulfil their desire for love.

Truth: Scientists and scholars spend their lives trying to uncover truths about the world. We seek justice in court because we want the truth to be known. We ask questions about the existence of God.

Beauty: We are drawn to breathtaking sunsets and amazing scenery. We want to be in relationships with attractive people. Some of us are inspired to create art and music and poetry and books to express the beauty of the world.

Now, take a moment and think about the things you’ve done in your life to yearn for love, truth and beauty.

Keep those thoughts at the back of your head – we’ll come back to them in a minute.

What The World Says About Jesus

This week’s Lectio reading had this particular excerpt:

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist; other Elijah; and other say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.”

“But you,” He said, “Who do you say I am?” It was Peter who spoke up. “The Christ of God” he said.

Isn’t it interesting how Jesus asks the disciples about what “the crowds” say about Him, vs. what THEY say about Him?

Jesus is famous – probably the most famous personality throughout all of history. The whole world knows His name, and most people know the main events of His story: How he was born, his ministry, his death and resurrection.

Most people of other faiths see Jesus as a great historical figure and a wise prophet who inspired millions of people to follow His teachings. Regardless of whether you believe in the story of Jesus, you’ve definitely heard of Him.

As someone who grew up attending Sunday school, I could rattle off incidents about Jesus’ life and the values He stood for. Millions of other Christians can do the same. After all, that’s what the Bible and everyone else says about Him.

But today, Jesus challenges us to go deeper. He asks, “What do YOU say about me?”

What Do You Say About Him?

Let’s go back to the 3 fundamental desires of the human heart.

What does it mean to yearn for the Ultimate Love, the Ultimate Truth and the Ultimate Beauty? If you think about it, it all points back to Jesus:

  • When we long for a life partner to fill the loneliness in our hearts, we’re longing for Jesus
  • We debate endlessly about the origins of the universe because it offers us a clue about the Truth of Jesus
  • When we see a sweeping panorama of mountains or a beautiful art piece, we’re seeing the handiwork of God (and by extension, Jesus)

It’s easy to talk about Jesus like we’re talking about a celebrity or a historical figure.

But it’s much more difficult to think about what it truly means to say that Jesus is “the Christ of God.” Today’s reading helped me realise that He is someone whom my heart yearns for. He is my closest Friend, my Teacher, my Rock in whom I trust.

I may not always remember that, but it’s such a great reminder that we can’t just think about Jesus at an academic/theoretical level. We have to go much, much deeper – into the fundamental desires of our heart.

Who do you say He is?

 

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