Msgr. Charles Pope: “Everyone Is Looking for You” – A Meditation on a Short Sentence from Scripture

A ‘Right to Not Be Pregnant’? A Conflict of Interests, by Jennifer Hartline
January 27, 2020
Fr. George Rutler: Hearing God in Silence
January 27, 2020

By Msgr. Charles Pope, Jan. 26, 2020

There is a brief line in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel that simply and completely sums up what we all are doing, even if we’re not aware of it. The setting of the passage is the outskirts of Capernaum in the early morning.

The prior day Jesus had healed a great many people at the house of Simon Peter. As the new day dawned there was already a multitude gathered in hopes of seeing this healer. Word must have spread quickly about Jesus.

But where was He? The text says that Jesus had slipped away to a deserted place to pray.

In seeming irritation, Peter and the others went looking for Him. When they found Jesus, Peter uttered a line that well describes and decodes all human hearts. Peter said, likely in an exasperated tone,

“Everyone is looking for you” (Mark 1:37).

Indeed, they are. Everyone is looking for Jesus. There are no exceptions here. Even those who insist that they are not looking for Jesus, and that He is the last one they would ever seek, are looking for Jesus.

Yes, Lord Jesus, everyone is looking for you.

There is in all of our hearts a “God-size” hole. Only God can fill it. There is a yearning, a longing that is infinite. The world could not have given this to us. Our nature alone could not have caused it; finite realities cannot give anything infinite. Nemo dat quod non habet (No one can give what he does not have).

Only the One who is infinite could have put this infinite longing there.

Frankly our deepest awareness is so deep and pervasive that we barely notice it is there; Our depest awareness is that we have an infinite longing.

Yes, Lord Jesus, everyone is looking for you; even those of us who forever run after worldly things to satisfy our infinite longing. Yes, we are all looking for you even if many of us do not know it.

    • The consumer who looks for the latest thing, the most recent upgrade, the bigger car, or the fancier house is really seeking you and the wealth that is you.

    • The sports fan or hobbyist who spends enormous amounts of time and money on such pursuits is really seeking fulfillment and thrill in you.

    • The discouraged or angry divorced person looking for the perfect marriage and the priest who wants a “better” parish are really seeking you and your perfection.

    • The young girl applying her makeup and the actor seeking applause and fame are really seeking you and the warm embrace of your love and acceptance.

    • The alcoholic or addict who tries to find relief at the bottom of a glass of wine or the end of a joint is really seeking the peace that only you can give.

    • Even the atheist who denies you because he cannot see you and the atheist who is angry at suffering and evil in the world are actually confessing their desire for your justice and solace.

Yes, Lord Jesus, everyone is looking for you.

Even creation yearns for you, though less consciously. Your own scriptures call you the desire of the everlasting hills (Gen 49:29). And you inspired St. Paul to say that creation is groaning in all its parts waiting to be restored and set free by you (Rom 8:22).

Yes, Lord Jesus, everyone and everything is looking for you. I am looking for you. The one who reads your Scripture is looking for you. My loved ones and enemies alike are looking for you. Help us to find you; show us your face.

Everyone is looking for you!

Nothing truer has ever been said.