Our God is hungry for us.
Let’s think about this for a second. Put bluntly, God doesn’t need us. I mean, if we want to get all theological about this, we can say it like this. God is Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is a family. God is a relationship. God is not lonely because the Father is in perfect love with the Son and the Holy Spirit dances within and as a part of that perfect love. If we were not around, our God would not be lonely. God does not need to love us, he does not need to create us, he does not need us to serve him, he does not need to reach out to us and make himself known to us.
But we do exist.
How do we explain this? How does this make sense? That’s the beauty of the Gospel, brothers and sisters. That’s the beauty of the Gospel. He does not need to, but he desires us. And because of that, he has loved us into life.
A lot of this is on my mind these days because our Fourth Year guys were just ordained as deacons this last Saturday. And every year about this time, when our brothers make this last huge step toward the priesthood, it really hits me harder and harder what it means to try to live out our vocations. It just surprises me the more and more I think about it. I’m kind of looking into my future here. And the path to that future is to literally spend all my time trying to become holy. It’s about trying to listen to the way God is calling me and getting so excited about what God has in store for me. It’s about struggling with those who struggle and rejoicing with those who struggle, because that’s who God is calling us to be. To be men and women of God who love others because we love God.
Hopefully we’ll all know that in our vocations, whatever they might be, whether it be to priesthood, married life, single life, it’s not really about what we can do or who we are or how successful we are or how popular we are. When we really try to know our vocation and live it out, it’s about who God is. It’s about that hunger that God has for us, his love for us, his desire for us.
That hunger that God has for us isn’t like that feeling we get when we’ve skipped breakfast. It’s not even like that hunger that stares us in the face when we see the images of the children in places like Malawi. We can only imagine how much they lack. But do just that. Imagine their lack and their hunger. Then imagine how much deeper God’s hunger is for us, each and every one of us. He would rather empty himself and die on a cross than be without us forever. His hunger and his thirst is so much deeper than we can imagine, his love for us is so much deeper than we can imagine.
Knowing and believing God desires us so deeply is what invites us to seek and live out our vocation, not just to know about God, but to know God, to enter into a relationship with him. And then that relationship overflows, and that’s when we love others. That’s when we reach out to those with so much less than us in Malawi, that’s when our newly ordained deacons give up there own desires to bring God’s desire to others, that’s when our Church just bursts out of itself into the world.
God’s hunger is not just something that some theologian made up.
It’s why we’re alive.