Hunger and thirst for souls

If we truly are Christians, if we really would like to be another Christ as we ought to be, then we have to see to it that we develop and actually have an unsatisfiable hunger and an unquenchable thirst for souls, for all souls, irrespective of who and how they are.

This was how Christ was and how he continues to be. He came to the world with the intention of saving all men, not just some, but all. That’s why even if he was rejected by many and eventually crucified, he offered forgiveness to everyone, especially those who crucified him.

Before that, he already told his disciples that they should love even their enemies. Yes, it’s true that he scolded and corrected some people, spoke some harsh words especially to those who were constantly finding fault in him, but that’s precisely because they failed to love everyone. They were so self-righteous, and in their self-righteousness, they failed to love everyone.

We need to see to it that we do not fall into the same condition of self-righteousness. Yes, we will meet people who are in error, who may have offended us, etc., but these do not excuse us from loving them.

Even if we have differences and conflicts among ourselves, even if we have been wronged, it is not good to hate anyone, not even to be angry at anyone for long. Like Christ, we should learn to forgive, or at least to offer forgiveness. More than that, like Christ we should see what we can do to bring them back to what is right, what is true, good, and beautiful as defined by Christ.

That is why we should always be thinking of others. This is the concrete manifestation of what we usually proclaim that we love God. If we truly love God, then we have to love everyone, the way Christ loved and continues to love everyone.

We have to be wary of that subtle trick of the devil that would lead us to get trapped in our own world of sanctimonious practices—doing a lot of prayers, even having recourse to the sacraments, doing many altruistic and philanthropic activities, but still keeping hatred, resentment, anger to others in our heart.

That’s falling into what is known as simply being “goodish,” but not really being good and holy. To be truly good and holy, we should love everyone, irrespective of who and how they are. To do this, we should be willing to follow the example of Christ who did not stop simply in proclaiming what is good and bad, what is true and false, but went all the way to assuming all the sins of men, offering forgiveness to everyone.

And he gave the new commandment that we love our neighbor as he himself has loved us. (cfr. Jn 13,34) To top it all, he commanded his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt 28,19-20)

In other words, we would know that we are becoming authentic Christians when we carry out these commandments of Christ. Our hunger and thirst for souls should be unsatisfiable and unquenchable!*

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