The world craves something more. People fill their lives with many pursuits in an attempt to satiate a fundamental desire which often goes unknown and unheeded. It may seem a cliché to say that the heart longs for communion with God, but there is more to this than superficial sentimentalism. Communion is a deep interpenetration, a relationship of harmony and fulfillment in which the one who is at the heart of all created reality makes himself available to our limited natures. The heart is restless until it comes to know this reality.
We get ourselves into trouble when we turn created goods into the ultimate goal of our life. Power, wealth, health, and all of the created things of this world offer us many enjoyments. However, they lead us to happiness only when they are pursued in a context of fidelity and openness to reality. Reality is in its essence not a concept or an idea, but rather is a triune God who stands at the center of all things and pours into them their meaning.
When St. Paul preached in the Athens (Acts 17:22-18:1), he used an altar to the unknown God to argue that what the Greeks had unknowingly worshiped was in fact Jesus Christ. Thus the altar to an unknown God which Paul used as a hook in his preaching becomes a symbol of the human hearts longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. At the heart of the pursuits of science, philosophy, and the humanities is the human quest for happiness and truth. This quest may be limited, but yet it is still noble and good. Like Paul, we must be constantly in dialogue with these pursuits, highlighting the good and re-directed the mistaken.
In this way, the Gospel draws its vitality from a living conversation in which Christ listens to the world through His Church, and then through the Church, Christ responds. The Gospel is not simply a set of ideas written 2000 years ago, but is a living dynamic of receiving and giving, always drawing the world into communion. This communion is not a human program or an agenda decided by census. Rather it is the living relationship Jesus offers through the sacraments.
In this way, through the sacraments created reality is constantly being drawn up and transfigured by the light of Christ. The sacraments form the center of gravity for which the created order is made and from which the created order discovers its true identity. The sacraments make known the unknown God, the one who remains hidden to the senses, but yet is made manifest through Jesus Christ.