Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Give Priority to the Will of God and to Fulfill His Work. (Article by Fr George Vayaliparambil, Australia)

- Article by Fr George Vayaliparambil, Australia

John 4:31-38 (King James Version)

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.  And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.  I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.”

Dear beloved in Christ

 Through the experience of the resurrection and freedom, the word of God calls all of us to lead a Theo-centric life. In the above quoted pericopa,  Jesus, the full man and full God, explaines to his disciples about the ultimate need and aim of His Life as fulfilling the will of His heavenly Father.

The disciple came to Jesus and asked him to have the food that they brought for him. But Jesus instead of having the food,  he is trying to twist the situation to convey a new message to his disciples. Here he is not refusing the basic need of human being, but he gives a priority to the spiritual matters than the physical need.

According to the famous Humanitarian Psychologist Abraham Maslow, there is a hierarchy of needs to fulfill for one to achieve self actualization and self transcendence.

The basic premise of the model is: Each of us is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself. Only when the lower order needs of physical and emotional well-being are satisfied,   we concern with the higher order needs of influence and personal development. Conversely, if the things that satisfy our lower order needs are swept away, we are no longer concerned about the maintenance of our higher order needs.

In this humanitarian Psychologist’s view basic need of the human being is the   physiological need such as food, water and air and so on. But in today’s gospel our Divine psychologist swears that the basic and ultimate need of a son of man is to fulfill the will of God. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”(John 4: 34). What does it mean? Does He against the basic human needs. Never, He is not against the basic needs of Human being, but he wants to give the message that the basic need of a human being should be “to do the will of God”.

In this Modern world we fail to give priority for our spiritual needs. We give priority to our other needs that the humanitarian psychologist suggests. As Christian we are supposed to see and be conscious to fulfill our spiritual need that which the God wants to be fulfilled fist in our life.  

After a while Abraham Maslow proposed another theory as Self transcendent theory, as an addition to the self actualization theory. He says even though one has achieved his self actualization needs, there he will feel a vacuum in his life. Which he termed as Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.

Here Jesus the true God says us that the self transcendence is possible if we give priority to our spiritual needs in our life for fulfilling the will of God. Jesus says

"But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." -Matthew 6:33

As Christians, we have to rearrange our hierarchy of needs in a circular shape, instead of Abraham Maslow’s Pyramidal shape.


The human needs will be either achieved either fully or partially. Once if our spiritual need is fulfilled our other needs will be fulfilled automatically. We can experience self-transcendence through out our life if we give priority to spiritual needs in our life. Jesus teaches his disciples that the rest of the human needs will be fulfilled by the grace of God or fulfilling that needs are not a matter for the existence of a spiritual man. We can achieve a transcendent life with out fulfilling the lower needs. 

We can say that it will change the importance of each need in a person’s life according to the situations. For example, we all have heard many stories of parents who were willing to die for their children. The parent placed far less importance on their own physiological and safety needs and far more importance on their love and belonging needs. The starving artist is another example of someone who places a greater importance on aesthetic needs than other needs.

Dear friends let us all give priority for the will of God and to fulfill his work in our life. Let it be our basic need.