Our souls thirst for God, the living God.
We don't need to dig too deep in our hearts to realize this fact, and to be reminded of the many ways we foolishly search for God in all the wrong places. Why do we think that we can find God in constant consumption, or eating, or dependent, unhealthy relationships, or any number of modern ways we try to fill our souls?
It's interesting to think of this quest of our hearts in light of Christ's words today in the Gospel. Jesus is saying flat out that He is the only way to real happiness, real salvation. In fact, all these other ways that are promising happiness and fulfillment are really thieves. These other fruitless (but pleasurable) drives, desires, and distractions are robbing our souls. We feel this robbery so often; the anxiety, the disappointment, the loneliness.
We need to hear Christ's definitive and affirmative statement in today's Gospel again and again. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. There is no coming to salvation through the back door with our own desires for fleeting pleasures. We may think we're climbing over the gates and fences of happiness just fine on our own, with our own ideas, worshipping what we want when we want, but make no mistake, Christ is the only gatekeeper.
Christ is the one true shepherd to salvation and everlasting life. His person, His constant love for us, His sacrifice for us are all facts that cannot be ignored. We cannot ignore His call to love and sacrifice, His call to embrace the truth of our own insufficient selves and doomed world. Our souls are thirsting for Christ, and He remains the loving shepherd drawing us close at every moment of our lives. We are the ones who need to recognize if we're choosing the shepherd of life or a thief of our souls.
What is robbing us of life today?
Christy Isinger is the mom to five lovely, loud children living in the Canadian wilds. You can find out more about her here.