In one of my favorite Disney’s movies, The Lion King, lies a very deep and moving conversation between father and son. It was the conversation between Mufasa and Simba when the young lion king was lost in his exile, abandoning hope to live life day by day. Here is the conversation:
Mufasa: Simba, you have forgotten me.
Simba: No! How could I?
Mufasa: You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba! You are more than what you have become.
Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. Remember who you are.
Simba forgot who he was, trying to run as far away as he could from his past and his rightfully given identity, right, and responsibilities, as king of the pride. The past was too hurtful and he did not want to think about it. He could not face himself nor could reflect on what really happened, just living through life meaninglessly. Even though he used the Hakuna Matata motto as his excuse and motto for the lifestyle, it was just an escape from what was really tugging in his heart as he chose to ignore and deny who he is. He forgot who he was! Yet, a transformation happened when he looked into the water and found the reflection of his own murdered father, Mufasa. He founds his true self through the reflection of his father — the son of the king, the rightful heir, hence king of the pride.
I think each and every one of us can relate to this particular episode. One time or another in our own lives, we had been lost. We also know people who are lost or have given up on life or anything that is higher, just allowing themselves to get drifted away by the everchanging winds of life because it is easier to comply or go along than to fight. Perhaps even we ourselves are somewhat feeling confused with what the world is telling us by its ridiculous demands. It is so easy to just live life from one moment to the next, sometimes we even excuse ourselves by saying that ‘it is for the best not to be worried and just go with it’ instead of trying to fight the good fight as to abide with God. It is easy to give up on who we truly are in order to simply live life and ‘enjoy’ its momentary or temporary satisfaction. Let us be honest, with all the things that this world is using to distract us, they easily can make many tired as to give up and just want to go with the flow. Let us be more honest in admitting that many are willing to stay stagnant and be complacent with their faith because it is too much efforts and spiritually hard to change! Fighting the good fight for our faith and moral commitments is hard because it demands a lot of honesty, humility, and trust in the transcendence instead of what is easily known, seen, or can be expected through human understanding, comprehension, and control. To believe requires a relationship with the One who loves us, and to love Him means that we have to make daily, personal, and intimate decisions to choose Him above everything else. To be faithful to the Lord often results in our personal struggles and fights against the forces that try to deter or take our focus away.
If you really think about it… it is really hard to really love and live as we believe! The Devil, the world, and all the forces in this life try to make us lose heart and lessen our commitment to the divine and everlasting love of God and what He wills for us. We can see it in our own lives! When we try to grow in our faith and deepen our love for the Lord, there is always some types of temptations, hardships, or obstacles presenting themselves in front of us. Sometimes those excuses and obstacles arise or stem from our very self, too! It does take a personal effort to love God and to be who we are called to be ontologically. At times of temptations and hardships, it is important to look at ourselves and its deep, unquenchable desires for love. Even though we might be hesitant to say it, but nothing in this world will ever satisfy those transcendental thirsts and hunger except for the divine. We were created by the infinite and everlasting God, so that is why our soul cannot truly be satisfied with the finite and temporary things of this world. Our soul and its yearnings are meant for God to fill, and we can see who we are meant to be (and who we were created to be) if we just take the time to look at ourselves deep from within.
It is important to go beyond the distractions, the fears, the excuses, the temptations, and the obstacles in front of us to look at the indelible mark that God has put in our soul. We were always meant for more! We are unhappy when we try to ignore and deny the reality of who we really are. As children of the one true King of the universe, we were meant to rule this world instead of being enslaved and controlled by it. Even though it is scary to face the forces that are against us, beating us down, and duping us by their lies, we do have the power and the courage that are beyond the feeble manipulations of the things of this world. We just have to look from within! The love of God, our Heavenly Father, will give us the immense and heartfelt power of grace to overcome the things that seem to be in control or bigger than us. Even though they might seem scary or too big for us to change, we do have the power to change them for they can never really control us if we channel the power of grace deep from within. Yes! We are meant for more because we are meant for the truth — not some cheaper versions or worldly imitations. We are meant for more because we were created by the Infinite. We are meant for more since we are formed by the everlasting, enduring, and life-changing love of God. We are meant for greater, everlasting, and eternal things, not just meaningless wandering in this everchanging world of trendy nothingness, superficial appeals, short-lived pleasures, and empty satisfaction.
Second, for us as Catholics, the Lord Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Scriptures and given Himself to us through the Mass. As with my featured image for this reflection, we can recognize His presence in the Eucharist, just as He enlightened the minds of His disciples after the Resurrection. We do have the ability to recognize Him if we reflect on the words given to us and the sacramental grace bestowed on us in our own life of faith, especially in the breaking of bread at each Eucharistic Banquet of the Mass. In receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, He lives us in and we in Him. The fact that He is living in us, His presence changes and transforms us deep from within. The love of Christ, through the power and working of the Holy Spirit, makes us become more like whom we have received sacramentally so we can live a life more as children of our Heavenly Father. The Trinitarian love of God is given to us so we can become more like Christ, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, as to live a worthy and full life as children of God.
Furthermore, every time we hear the words of the Eucharistic institution, “Do this in memory of me,” our memory becomes enlivened and transformed by the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This memory is not just an ordinary sense of memory as if we look at a picture and recall what happened, the Greek word anamnesis reminds us that it is the real reliving of what happened on Calvary here and now! It is like, through the sacramental grace of the Mass, being transported back to the exact moment of Christ’s own sacrifice on the Cross. The sacrifice of the Mass is then the same sacrifice of Christ on the Cross — in an unbloodied way — reminding of who we really are and how loved we are by the Lord. In each and every Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass, we are living and transformed by the love of the Trinity, which the Father handed over His Son as expiation for our sins, the Lord gave His life freely to redeem us from the slavery of evil, and the Holy Spirit received, sanctified, and moved the hearts of believers to accept this everlasting exchange of divine love. With the Mass, we can recognize the immense love of God and remember who we truly are as Christians. We are more than what the world tells us or what sins had made us become! We are children of God the Father, disciples of Christ, and instruments of the Holy Spirit because of what the Trinity has done for us. Therefore, we have the grace and ability to become what we truly are meant to be, living to the fullest ability in this world of meaningless wandering.
Remember the words of Mufasa to Simba: “You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba! You are more than what you have become.” Just like Simba was reminded not to forget who he is, let us not forget who we are! Let us have the courage and go back to where we are meant to be instead of where our fears or the lies of this world had misled us to where we are at. Let us rule this world in truth and rise above its deceptive powers by always looking at who we truly are. Let us never forget that the presence of our Heavenly Father is always with us, and through the power and working of the Spirit of love, we are all called to become more like our Brother, Jesus Christ, as loving, true, and real children of God. Let us always, therefore, remember who we are, for we are always meant for more than what is given by this world.