Our lives can be likened to an empty cup. There is neither water nor tea in it. When a person is arguing with someone and tells the person, ‘you are empty.’ It means there is nothing in that person. That means the person is like a gong. The gong is empty yet it makes a sound that makes music melodious. But it cannot be music in itself because in music, the gong is just an appendage. If a human being cannot live a fulfilled life, a life demanded of him by his Creator then something is wrong. When a man’s life is boring and does not create space for God, life becomes meaningless for such a person. He needs Christ to fill the emptiness or void. When human life is empty what fills it again? When life is empty, fill it with Christ. The modern man of today lives a life outside God and Jesus values. He is confronted with the meaning of life. When he escapes life, he is trapped; confused and alienated. When he sees life as either empty, or worthless, he begins to feel threatened. If he is not smart enough he doubts himself and doubts his existence. He becomes a stranger to his environment. He needs to believe in something. He needs to believe in himself and believe in God if he wants to have a meaningful life. Life without God is an empty life.
Think of the sacraments. Do you go to confession? What does life mean to you? Life without Jesus is an empty life. Life without morals is an empty life. Life without a moral code is no life. Living our lives as we want it, breaking the laws will bring untold harm to us. When we continue to live like that, we hurt ourselves and hurt others. Listening to rock music will never help. Drowning our minds with noisy music will not help. Using drugs to feel high will not help. Searching for ourselves outside of God will not help. Knowing who we are now and taking the first step to meet God in our estrangement, loneliness and absurdity of life will help to fill our emptiness. As long as we recognize that we are not comfortable with ourselves, there is someone who will shatter the darkness pervading our life; that person is Jesus. When Jesus fills the emptiness in our lives, we become new persons and liberated. One is then able to live in a real world not a false one. When a person fills himself with half-truth, he cannot communicate the truth without being afraid of exposing himself. He communicates half-truth always. Saying things as they should be, makes him nervous.
He does not want to come out of his closet. But he needs to fill his falselife with truth. A man of emptiness withdraws from an environment that is confrontational. He avoids people always. He is hostile. He is afraid of people. He feels that people will know that he is empty. He can bark like a mad dog to scare people, but deep inside he is crying for help. You won’t know unless the God in you helps you know that he is a patient gasping for help. He may drive a car, and dress beautifully, yet he needs help. All his antics are window dressing and cover-ups. Such a person will hide his emp tiness because he is afraid that if people know who he is they will not accept him anymore. Emptiness is a spiritual problem. No amount of money one has can fill one’s emptiness. No amount of alcohol intake or rate of socializing can remove the emptiness. The only remedy is to go to ancient God, the God of our fathers and worship him in truth and love. Then you will regain your fill.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a social Justice and Peace Advocate.