By Fr. Travis O’Brian
St. Barnabas Church Victoria, Rector
Father. How can it be, that you are so near to us, and we so far from you?
You offer us bread. But the more you give, the hungrier, it seems, we become.
My God – why are we so hungry?
Not much is forbidden us to eat; you send us food in such abundance. Even in the wilderness you spread a table before us laden with every good thing.
If only we were not so hungry! You have given us everything. Why is it not enough?
If only we were not so hungry! Perhaps we could enjoy your company. If only we were not so hungry, perhaps we could delight even in the things that are not for us. It might be that they are beautiful; it might be that you are saving them for a purpose that has nothing to do with us.
But we are unable to stop.
Everything for us has become food. We eat and eat. But nothing fills us. We eat and eat, but our stomachs gnaw at us, insisting more and more.
Jesus, at the time of his arrest, asked the soldiers and chief Priests and Pharisees, with their lanterns and torches and weapons, “Who are you looking for?”
What a question! He was standing right there, the one they wanted, waiting for them, almost welcoming them . . . . . . They had come to take him away, to kill him, to make an example of him, to prove their power over him, to eat him.
“Who are you looking for?”
What a question! He knew what they did not know: they sought him to kill him, but their bloodlust and their fear only prove how desperately they needed him. They sought to kill him, the only one who could help them, the only one who could turn their confusion and anger and violence and gnawing hunger —— into an offering of Love.
They had been looking for him everywhere. Their whole lives they had been searching him out. They came in the darkness, in the middle of the night, but even when they arrested him and took him away and nailed him up on the Cross to die – they couldn’t see, they couldn’t hear, they did not understand. They were so damn hungry. That gnawing! They just couldn’t stop!
And when they were through – were they satisfied?
And when we are through – will we be satisfied?
Will we ever be satisfied?
Father, we’re so damn hungry.