By Bryn Rademaker
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” – Pope St. John Paul II
At World Youth Day in 2005, St. John Paul II shared this unforgettable message not just with the people of Germany but with the entire world. His words impacted the hearts of the youth and adults and inspired them to seek Jesus through everything they did. These words continue to do so even today, 14 years later, reminding us of how utterly close the Lord is to us despite what the world tells us.
The last few weeks, our Holy Gospels at Mass have been leading us through a simple theme: the only way we can possibly reach God our Father is through his Son, Jesus. The disciples struggled to understand this concept and questioned him daily, still trying to find their satisfaction and worth in other things besides their Savior.
Most of us, myself included, ride the struggle bus with this concept as we battle the route to finding true happiness. Whatever it is that we search for true satisfaction in, we always end up disappointed or broken. I’ve found that even after falling on our faces again and again after looking in any direction BUT Jesus, we still somehow can’t understand that He is enough.
Well, my friends, the good news of the Gospel is that He’s it… and He’s enough! He’s so great and so merciful that even in our broken humanity He is constantly there, never to leave or give up on us.
This month’s song (“Untitled Hymn”—trust me, if I could ask Chris Rice what he was thinking when he wrote this one, I’d first question his interesting title preference) is simply beautiful and has been one of my favorites since childhood. Chris Rice invites each of us into a personal relationship with Jesus by running to him at all times:
-When we’re weak and wounded, fall on him.
–When we’re lonely, cry to him.
-When we’re joyful and filled with love, dance for him.
What a beautiful reminder to us all, especially this summer amidst transitions, adventures, and new relationships. Let’s run that race y’all, and this time let’s run down that wide and narrow path towards JESUS, as opposed to the unfulfilling world.
~Chris Rice began his contemporary Christian music career in the mid 1980s by recording with famous Christian artists such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. His solo work began after releasing his popular tune “Deep Enough to Dream” in 1997. Not only do his lyrics awe millions, but his piano playing amazes the world as well. The Living Room Sessions were released in the early 2000s with piano-only instrumental music which many play as preludes before mass (including my amazing mother 😊).
–Hillary Scott and her family also performed this beautiful piece for the world—check it out in addition to Chris Rice’s version!