Am I fulfilled?
by: Br. Ron Calderon[cjm]
Why am I unhappy? Why am I discontented? Why don't I feel fulfilled? At least at one point in our life we have asked these questions. Perhaps we asked these because we felt a certain thing lacking in our life. And no matter what we do to make ourselves comfortable, feel satisfied or at peace, deep down we feel a lurking unquenchable and gnawing vacuum. We feel an emptiness in our heart. We could have experienced this vacuum in different ways: in our studies, in our work, in our relationship. We could have even felt this poverty of the heart even when we are spending a good time with friends or indulging in a shopping spree.
Sometimes this poverty is felt more like a prison. We could be living the life we want or satisfied with the life given to us by our family. But regardless of these securities in life, in the end we find ourselves feeling trapped in our very schedules, plans, and routines. We know that more or less we are free to choose what we want. Yet we still feel that there is more to our life than the things that we have.
In the gospel, Jesus declared that he is the fulfillment of his Father's promise to the His people. He came to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind. He declares a different kind of freedom and uses excerpts from the book of Isaiah.
But why did Jesus use this book from Scriptures? Why not just use his own words?
If we look more carefully, both Isaiah and Nehemiah (the assumed writer of the first reading pericopy) are prophets of the Jewish people when they were exiled away from their homeland in various periods from the 8th to the 5th century BC. During these periods, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians kept them in foreign lands and dispersed many of the original tribes of Israel. Isaiah and Nehemiah with the other prophets of Israel awaken the spirit of their people and gave them hope. They proclaimed to the exiled people of Israel that the Lord God will console them in their anguish and liberate them in their captivity.
The words of Jesus in the gospel of Luke in the context of the first reading implies that the promise of God through Moses and the prophets is now fulfilled in Jesus himself. Moreover, in the second reading, St. Paul by being a faithful witness to the Risen Christ expresses that the very fulfillment in Jesus is fulfillment of God's promise even to the non-Jewish communities. Come to think of it, St. Paul did not make an innovation out of Jesus' mission. He simply elaborated and clarified it. Somehow in these passages today we can draw out that the proclamation of Jesus as fulfillment of God's words of freedom and hope works its effects beyond race or status, beyond time and space.
Let us take these words today as an invitation for us to open our heart to Christ. Why not give Christ a chance today? Through our acceptance of His body and blood in the Eucharist, let us allow Christ to enter our prayer today, to enter our heart. He could be the one we are waiting for to heal us, and give us peace of mind that is total and permanent. Jesus humbled himself and became human so that we can be freed from any kind of “unfreedom” we have in our life.
He lived, suffered, died and resurrected for all of us because he wants us to know that God is the only one that can satisfy our deepest longings. God is the only one that can fill the seemingly unsurmountable vacuum in our hearts. In truth, God has actually given us the overflowing remedy even before we felt our pain, our emptiness, long before we were conceived. Actually the question really is “Are we ready to be fulfilled?”