As evidenced throughout the Gospels, Christ provokes his disciples to spiritual awakening by questioning them. He does not leave us in a condition of mindless wandering. Superb teacher that he is, Christ questions us, examines us, searches through us. We may try to hide, but the light of his truth, empowered by genuine love, can pierce through even the rocky caves of our hearts and minds. He breaks in with his word, questioning: “Who do you say that I am?” To recognize who it is dwelling in us—often unseen, unfelt—we must be turned around, and respond. Perhaps we will say: “Oh! It is You! I did not know you were here.” And Christ may say, “You seem surprised, little soul. I was here all of the time, waiting. Where were you? Out playing golf? Or busy about many things, about getting and spending money, forgetting what life is all about?” And we may wonder, “And what, LORD, is life all about?”
What indeed is life all about? I asked Siri (the voice on my iPad) what life is about, and she said to me: “It is about asking such questions.” Wise woman, Siri. So I shall ask a few questions that may arise in each of us: “Who are you, LORD? What would you have me to do? How can I best serve you? What good things can I share with those in need?” In asking such questions, the LORD is already present, moving us, drawing us to himself through our inquiring minds. The bad questions are ones we neglect to ask.When we respond to God’s presence with searching questions, we are drawn to do so by the One whom Christ called “Father.” The God beyond all understanding, ever beyond our grasp, stretched toward by love, is present to us in our genuine questions, in our care for one another, in everyday acts of kindness.
Never can one be truly alone—except perhaps in a hell of one’s choosing. (“Hell is my neighbor,” said Sartre, revealing a lack of love.) Ever present is the divine Presence which by long tradition Christians identify as Christ (personal, I AM) and the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, wisdom). And so we pray: LORD God Almighty, lover and seeker of souls, guide each of us and all of your creatures on the way back to You, in whom alone we “live and move and have our being.” Everything else passes. You abide. You are the One in whom we truly are.