During the Christmas novena here in Chontal, I ran into a friend and asked where her little son was. “He’s in bed.” What happened. She laughed. “He at the entire Christmas bag of candies that he got from the school, and it made his stomach sick.” The next day, I saw the little boy. What was he doing? Looking for another bag of candies.
When I was a twenty-something, one of the rituals of every weekend was rolling out of bed at 1 or 2pm after a long night of drinking. I always vowed that I would never drink like that again. The next weekend, I was out again at the bars.
We have been made with an appetite inside of us that can’t ever be filled. We want more and more. We want to keep knowing more, experiencing more, feeling more, and on and on. So, once something runs out or can’t keep up with our appetite, we go and look for another. The things of this life always run out, and can never keep us satisfied.
But the things of God are different.
They never run out.
Did you ever wonder how the same 4 short books about Jesus have been able to spiritually feed billions of people for 2000 years? Or how basically the same liturgical assembly of people can keep people coming back for that long? Or why Jesus was on the planet for about 33 years – 2000 years ago – and that’s it? How he doesn’t have to keep coming back now and again?
It’s because every time you return to the scripture, to the assembly of believers, to the event of Jesus some 2000 years ago, you get fed all over again in a new way. It never stops and it never gets old. That is why it is a treasure.
It never runs out.
The people here in Chontal had a great experience over the Christmas season. There was a new spirit in the air, an experience of God’s grace. I am going to be leaving in a few days, and my message to them is this: you don’t need me to come back. You have an experience with God. You have a treasure. Keep going back to it, and it will keep you inspired and fed spiritually forever. Because the things of God never run out.
When you have an experience of God, when you get to know Him even just a little, that experience is something that you can keep going back to and getting fed from for the rest of your life. It can fill you up in different ways as long as you live, and can satisfy the appetite deep inside. You don’t need to go looking for the next thing, the latest and greatest. Another night out at the bar. Another bag of goodies.
You’ll have found your treasure that lasts forever.
Because the things of God never run out.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” (Mt 13:44-46)