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Jesus Christ: The Fulfillment of All Desire

by Spencer Thomas, O.S.A.

What does it look like when the human heart, beset by an existential inquietude longing for a truly lasting fulfillment, meets the God who communicates the gift of his sheer aliveness to that same heart?

What does it look like when the misery of our primordial brokenness, which images that same restless heart of ours experiencing alienation from all that is other, meets the mercy of a God who both witnesses our woundedness in its deepest depth and actively wills to enter into its sheer chaos so as to breathe back a renewal of life which puts flesh on the dried bones of our frailty?

What does such a meeting … such an encounter … look like?

Καὶ _ὁ _λόγος _σὰρξ _ἐγένετο _καὶ _ἐσκήνωσεν _ἐν _ἡμῖν

(And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us)

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among … us.

Whenever I reflect on the question of just who Jesus the Christ is, who is he to the world, who is he to me, I inescapably begin to think about incarnation.

Ever since I was a kid—a neophyte in the faith— I’ve always seemed to possess a particular interest in the meaning or significance of Christmas, the Christmas mystery as it were (I always managed to work my way into serving at the Christmas liturgies even though the stress of it was enough to make 12 year old, worry ridden, me vomit).

Something about Christmas drew me—and continues to draw me— like a moth to the light. Something other than the boxes of presents.

I continue to be fascinated by just what our Christian faith boldly professes about this facet of God’s character: that the one true God, the creator of the entire universe, would willing humble himself to share in our humanity, to step into the fullness of our human finitude and limitation, so as to reconcile us into his very divinity.

In the person of Jesus that is exactly what God has done.

In the incarnation, whereby the very Word of God takes flesh and dwells among us, a truly transcendent encounter takes place, one that permeates the entirety of the created order and grafts the very person of God onto the human experience.[1] In the flesh of Jesus, composed of trillions of atoms formed from the remnants of stars and the matter of our universe, in this flesh of Jesus, the kiss of the creator has truly imprinted itself, in a unique way…onto creation, onto our heart, onto our frailty.

Jesus Christ is truly the fulfillment of all desire.

He is that fulfillment for which our restless heart longs, he is that fulfillment in which our brokenness finds the new breath of resurrected life. For in Jesus, the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high has truly broken upon us, making his dwelling among us and within us…us who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.[2]  And in the person of Jesus we encounter the one who will guide our feet into the way of peace, a peace which is nothing less than the fulfillment of all desire. 

In the words of Augustine:

“If Jesus had not come as a human being all we would know about human life is that we are born and we die. Jesus took upon himself the human condition we know and gave us a proof of the eternal life we do not know.”

Saint Augustine, Commentary on Psalm 60, 4

[1] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “Hymn of the Universe”, 144.

[2] Lk 1: 78-79

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