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The Word, The Truth

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What is the most important and basic characteristic of our Christian religion?

For the natural religions, it is always man searching for God.

When tribal pagans slaughter animals to offer their blood to their god, this signifies man’s desire to please an Almighty God.

When the Buddhists fast and cleanse their bodies in preparation for a very long meditation, it is still man in search of God. When Hindus burn themselves, and offer their burning bodies to God, it is also man in search of God.

For the natural religions, man is always in search of God. Man longs to see God face-to-face.

But for Christianity, it is the other way around. It is not man in search of God, it is God in search of man.

That is the good news for us.

From the parable of the lost sheep, we see that God is in search of us. God is looking for us. This does not mean that we can lie back and indolently wait to be discovered by God. No. The message actually is this: We are all so important before God that God cannot rest, that God will always be restless, until He is able to see us and have us in His bosom. That is the good news.

For the natural religions, man is in search of God. For Christianity, from the Gospel, the Lord tells us: “God is in search of all of you because you are all important.” We hear that right from the very book of Genesis, the first book of the Holy Scriptures. What does God say to Adam?

“Where are you? Why are you hiding?” And Adam says, “I am hiding because I am naked.” But God, very clearly, is looking for man, is in search of man.

From the Book of the prophet Hosea, the Lord says, “Come back to me with all you heart. Do not let fear keep us apart.” Again, it is God in search of man. Man, being searched by God, Saint John the Beloved, says, “It was God who loved us first. It was not you who loved God. It was God who loved you first. You are only responding to God’s love.”

I think all those examples suffice.

The message is very clear. God is in search of us and God will never rest until we are with Him. What Saint Augustine says is true, “Oh Lord, how late have I known you and yet my heart is restless until it rests in you.”

The Lord also wants to tell us, “Same here. My heart will be restless until you rest in me.” Let us thank God for such love. Let us thank God for searching for us because we are important; God looking for us because we are priceless.

When the Lord appeared to St. Teresa of Avila, He told her: “Teresa, Teresa, you just don’t know how much I love you. Even if you are the only person in this world, I would still choose to die for you. Because I do not die for statistics. I do not die because there are so many people. I die for persons and that person is you.”

Even if you are the only person in this world, Christ would still choose to die upon the cross. This is because you are special, and God is always in search of you.

COME BACK TO ME
Lk. 15:1-7
Only Jesus, Always Jesus

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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