HOW TO SEEK TO SEE THE RIGHT THINGS IN LIFE! REFLECTION FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

What Does it Mean to Truly Seek God?

“Have you seen the new movie?” Most people asked this question during the weekend of March 5 when the sequel to the hilarious comedy “Coming to American” was released on amazon prime. The film turned out to be the most viewed streaming motion picture since the past twelve months. The reason is simple, those who watched the first dramatization were curious to see what happened to Akeem, the heir to the throne of Zamunda, after thirty years.

John’s Gospel (12:20-33) tells us about some Greeks who came seeking to see Jesus during the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. They approached Philip, who referred them to Andrew, and both brought them to see Jesus. Coming to Jesus, we do not hear them ask any questions, but Jesus addressed them by reflecting on the process of dying to produce much fruit, about eternal life, and the need to follow and serve him.

The Search to See Jesus

It is important to note that the Greeks were known for their search for deeper knowledge. The discipline Philosophy, which is translated as the love of wisdom, originated from the Greeks. We could also recall St. Paul mentioning that the Jews demand signs while the Greeks search for wisdom (1Cor. 1:22). Furthermore, the Greeks in Athens did not believe Paul when he talked about the resurrection of Christ (Acts 17:32).

The Greeks in the narrative could have heard a lot about Jesus and sought to see the type of person he could be and engage him in some fundamental questions like rising from the dead. By the way, he raised Lazarus from the dead in the previous Chapter (11:44), and news about him spread (John 12: 17).

What are you seeking to see in life?

For the most part, we pass through life searching for various things. This could be part of what makes us human; the curiosity and desire to know. However, every search must be purposeful and meaningful to our lives. Why would you spend your time running after things or individuals who would not add an inch of value to you?

We must ask ourselves two important questions and give befitting answers: “what are am I seeking to find in life and why?” We often know what we seek but lack good reasons; this is where the “why” comes in. I was once counseling someone addicted to pornography, and when I asked the question, “why do you constantly seek to see pornography, the individual could not give any reason.

If you do not have meaningful reasons for the things you ardently seek after in life, you might as well stop bothering about them because it makes no sense chasing after the wind when there are better things to do with your time and your life.  

Have you seen the need to seek the Lord? If yes, why? What do you wish to see? The Greeks in the Gospel passage could have had an intellectual reason for seeking to see Jesus, and our Lord gave them a spiritual explanation about his person and mission for which they had no response. What is your reason?

Some people sincerely seek to see the Lord, but in the wrong places. While you need people to assist you in the journey to see the Lord, they should not become the endpoint of your search. Philip and Andrew took the Greeks to Jesus, not to themselves; they were messengers, but Jesus Christ remains the message.

Another problem is that some people seek to see the Lord in the building. I once asked a man why he prefers to go to a church miles away from his house though there is one next block, and he said that the one he attends is more beautiful. Could it be that his reason for seeking to see the Lord is all about external beauty?

Moving Forward

No matter how rich and comfortable you might be in life, you are still poor if you do not seek Lord. Our Lord Jesus Christ advised that we should seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and other things would be added to us (Matt. 6:33).

The best place to search for God is not in any of God’s messengers nor the building but our hearts. God says in the Book of the prophet Jeremiah (29:13), you will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your hearts. It is the heart that seeks the Lord, not the brain or mere emotions.

The imprint of God is already in your heart, as we see in Jeremiah’s prophecy (31:31-34). We only need to activate it. God created you with a strong magnet, namely your mind, and what we commit to our minds comes to reality. Did Jesus not say seek and you shall find (Matthew 7:7).

If you seek to see the right things in life, commit your heart to it, and you shall get it. Do not let the time it takes discourage you. Many people came for the Passover, but only some Greeks desired to see Jesus, and they found him. Did you know that there was nobody  sincerely sought to see Jesus in the Gospels that failed to see him from the woman with the issue of blood, through Bartimaeus the blind man to Zacchaeus the tax collector?

You will surely find the Lord this season and beyond in your plans and your aspirations, and in your family and all that relates to you seek Him with all you heart. God bless you.

Fr. Bonnie.  

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