This may be the last post I write. I write this for my children, especially, but also for anyone else who might be seeking. Since it is about the “One Thing” there may be nothing else worth writing! In this time of uncertainty and fear, getting the “One Thing” right becomes even more important.
The guy to the right is Curly. He is a character in the hilarious 1980’s movie, City Slickers, starring Billy Crystal as Mitch. Here is how the “One Thing” dialogue goes (this is the last time I put those two words in quotes!):
Curly: None of you get it. Do you know what the secret of life is?
Mitch: No, what?
Curly: [holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.
Mitch: That’s great, but, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what you gotta figure out.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was the day that we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, which is a celebration of the destruction of sin and death. Right? Doesn’t that sound incredible?! Some people might say, “For Christians, of course. For us it is a day to be with our family.” Some may have other reasons to celebrate: springtime, new life, hope.
They have not yet found the one thing, but they are getting closer. Those who celebrate these things on Easter Sunday are seeking things on earth that reflect the One Thing, and that is very good. But it is not enough.
What is it within us that drives us to be with others, to seek the joy of unity with other human persons? Why is social distancing so difficult? Could it be merely an instinct to be social, to mix with our kin and our friends and have fun? Is it just an instinct, like a dog’s desire for attention?
This instinct is indeed satisfied through our social interactions, yet it is much more than my sweet puppy’s desire for attention. Humans desire more; we seek something beyond us that satisfies a longing that is deep within our hearts. We think in terms of eternity, and ultimately the only thing that will satisfy us has to be eternal.
It doesn’t matter what religion you are, or whether you even consider yourself “religious.” The truth is that we all follow something. We all strive for something beyond ourselves.
The One Thing has been revealed to us. The One, Eternal Word, has been spoken.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
“Follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Our desire for communion that is within us can attach itself to only One Thing. All truth, goodness, and beauty culminates in this One Thing, this One Word: Jesus. Until we find Him we will always be seeking, always restless.
Think of the largest, tallest mountain. We are all trying to climb it. There are multiple paths to the pinnacle: around and around, zig-zag, straight up. Along the way we find many signs that point us to the top. There may even be signs that keep us where we are for a time. Throughout the journey we find refreshment and nourishment to get us there, if we look carefully. We may fall and start again. The important thing is to keep going, to keep climbing.
Yes, indeed, yesterday and today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. The Resurrection is so important that Catholics celebrate it for 50 days. Just to be clear, I use the term Catholics as a universal term. This feast is celebrated pro multis, for all. It is celebrated as such because it is, indeed, the One Thing! It is Eternal Life in God, Who created us and loves us!
To be resurrected means to live eternally. This is something that all humans understand and seek. It is a constant, if you will, of the universe. It is a universal law that humanity longs to live forever. Eternity is at the essence of everything we strive for. It is the pinnacle, the summit.
This pinnacle is a Person. He has come down to be one of us in order to bring us back up with Him, in a union of Love with the Father, in the Holy Spirit. The Resurrected King is Resurrecting me. And you.
That is the One Thing.