Thursday, May 3, 2012

Facebook and the Good Shepherd

There is in all of us a desire to know the other and to be known by the other.  This desire is what made the inventors of Facebook rich.  Or better put, they recognized and skillfully capitalized on this desire and that is what has made them rich.  All day long, people are posting and reading the posts of others.  That's because deep down, there is an innate desire to know the other and to be known by the other.

Facebook, however, will never completely satisfy this yearning for knowledge of the other because this desire is really a desire for God.  Ultimately, the Other we want to know is the Eternal and Infinite Other.  And, (although I'm sure somebody has done it for Him), this Other has no Facebook page.  God, however, did not wait around for Facebook to be invented.  And he doesn't reveal Himself in a post here and a post there.  He doesn't reveal Himself in snippets.  Instead, He revealed Himself in a person, the person of Christ the Good Shepherd.  He knows the Father.  And the Father knows Him.  And the Shepherd knows His Sheep.  And the Sheep know the Shepherd.

People want to know God.  They are thirsting to know Him--whether they know it or not.  We Christians are privileged to know the Shepherd.  And yet, we are hesitant to share this good news with others.  In a sense, we are God's Facebook page.  Christ feeds us with the solid food of doctrine and the Eucharist.  He finds us when we are lost, carries us when we are wounded, and lays down his life for us when we are in the clutches of the wolf.  When we bear witness to our encounter with Christ; when we share with others our joy at being sheep of his flock; when we live in holiness of life, all of these help others to come to know the Other.  Christ is the perfect revelation of the Father.  When we live our life in union with Christ and when we share with others what Christ has done in our life, then we help them to come to know God. 

God has sent something far better than a post or a link.  He has sent His Son.  And we are His witnesses before the world.  Facebook figured out that people really are hungering to know the other and look how well they've done. 

Maybe we Catholics need to do a better job remembering that people are looking to know the Other and we need to be more joyful and zealous in sharing the good news of what Christ has done in our lives.  We have a Shepherd who feeds us, protects us, restores us, loves us, lays down His life for us, and leads us to eternal happiness.  All of the people on Facebook are looking to find just that.

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