Why do we still sometimes experience sadness, envy and other negative emotions?
When we open our heart to Christ and allow him to tarry there awhile, we will always feel his love and peace. But people often do not understand Jesus, and don’t welcome him. They don’t care who he is; they just want him to solve the problem at hand and get on with life as before. They don’t want him to complicate their lives. They just want him to listen to their requests.
This attitude saddens Jesus. He feels a sense of failure, just as we do. For they are not seeking him; they are seeking only his miracles, while he is able and willing to quench their thirst for love, peace, home and rest. But they go away.
Perhaps they did not believe that intimacy with God is possible. They failed to look at him. They do not welcome all that he wants to give. They go away.
Sometimes this happens to us as well. We draw closer to God when we think we need something, but we generally don’t want him to get involved in our life, to change our heart, to fill us. We do not give him the helm because we want to control the course of our lives. We don’t really worship him, because we don’t let him be the Lord of our life.
Jesus turns to his disciples. He asks: "Will you also go away?" It is a very human question. It moves us. He needs his friends. It’s amazing that God need us. Today he says, "Do you want to leave, too? Are you looking for me because you want me to give you what you need so that you then can also go?”
In contrast to our inconstancy, God’s love remains. The Tabernacle is the sign of his enduring love that never abandons us. We go to worship him, but afterwards sometimes feel empty. We don’t listen. We don’t feel. We do not touch and so we feel frustrated, dry, cold. We wonder what is happening to us when ”the Food” does not feed us.
But he is there, hidden, waiting. He only wants us to meet him. He needs our silence, our words. He needs us to open our fearful hearts. He wants us to keep him company. He doesn’t want to be alone, but often we keep our distance.
We would like to experience Christ’s nearness. But it is so hard to become like Christ! St. Ignatius of Antioch warned us: "Do not wish to have Jesus Christ in the mouth and worldly desires in the heart at the same time."
We receive Communion, eat him as food. We are with him, but our feelings are not his. They are worldly. They are the feelings of that “old man” who lives within us and refuses to die.
When our hearts are disordered and lacking in harmony, we think one thing and do another. When we are tired or feeling overwhelmed because much is demanded of us, new emotions may begin to emerge from the depths of our soul where worldly passions–not God–reign.
Deep-seated passions often baffle us because they control us, rather than the other way around. But they are also from God. These forces can lead us to achieve the impossible and give us encouragement when our strength falters.
God created us with passions, but we also know that the passions that draw us to the world can draw us away from God. And we want Him to reign.
In his Spiritual Canticle, St. John of the Cross asks:
We remain planted on the earth and turn our gaze from what is most important, what really matters–from truth, life, and authentic love.
Our passions make us believe that we will live forever, but feelings of greed, envy, pride, vanity, the desire to possess, to dominate, to achieve, as well as impatience, arrogance, laziness, bitterness, and sadness can arise when God does not reign in us.