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Happy New Year

For the New Year Only God will do!

It’s hard to believe that some of the people attending Mass today were not born when the movie “Jerry Maguire” first debuted. That was 1996 and the movie, a romantic comedy-drama starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, and Regina King. One of the most iconic lines in the movie, and one of the biggest lines of garbage in movie history, was when Jerry Maguire turned to Dorothy Boyd and, with tears in his eyes, emotionally, says to her: “you complete me.” The sentiment is not unusual. In fact, this sort of expectation of another in relationships, courtships, and marriages, is very prevalent and, at the same time, very deadly. If you expect anyone else to complete you, in a friendship, a relationship, a marriage, or a family, you are destined for disappointment and failure.

The Book of Genesis tells us that nothing God had made was suitable as a friend for Adam, so God created Eve. Adam and Eve were made to be companions for each other, so that Adam would not be alone, he would have accompaniment in life. Human beings accompany each other in life, and through life. We are all born into relationships. The first relationship we have is with our parents, our mother, who first, in her own body and then from her own body, feeds us. We are sheltered, made safe, we learn, we grow, through our relationships. We make friends, we marry, we have children of our own, we are community beings, and we help each other, but we don’t complete each other. And, to put those expectations on another, on a friend, a parent, a wife, a husband, a mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or sister, is to put too great a burden on them and to expect too much. The created world, and even the created person, is not enough to fill what only God’s love can fill.

The truth is that the Book of Genesis also teaches us that God created us to be loved by Him and to love Him. We are created to be in relationship, first, with God. Created by God and for God, only God can fulfill us, only God’s life, God’s love, God’s grace, can complete us. From within we search for completeness, every person knows this, or at least feels this instinctively. Even those who have never heard of God seem to know that their soul, heart, being, longs for something more than the world can offer or give, even people, even the people we love most and who love us most, cannot fulfill the longing we hold deep within. Often, as we all know, we search for fulfillment in all sorts of places, people, and things. We discover that created things cannot take the place of the one uncreated thing we long to have and to love. Made for God, we long for God, and only God can fulfill that longing.

This is not to devalue the other riches in our lives, in fact, these also are gifts from God that are to help, enhance, brighten, give purpose and they are signs of God’s love and care for us. However, only God can fulfill us. As we begin a new year if we want to find completeness, if we want to find our purpose and destiny, if we want to be fulfilled and live as fully as we can, we should let God enter our lives fully so that we might be complete and live life as God intends us to live it, to experience life as God intends us to experience it. Anything else, everything else, is just not enough. Only God!

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