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To seek (דָּרַשׁ dāraš)

Seek the Lord, while He is able to be found. Call upon Him, while He is near! (Is 55:6)

דִּרְשׁ֥וּ יְהוָ֖ה בְּהִמָּצְאֹ֑ו קְרָאֻ֖הוּ בִּֽהְיוֹתֹ֥ו קָרֹֽו׃

Quaerite Dominum, dum inveniri potest; invocate eum, dum prope est.

The word “seek” (דָּרַשׁ dāraš) in Hebrew also means “to investigate”, “to inquire”, “to ask”, “to ask”, “to consult”, “to address” or “to care”. The meaning of this verb with such a wide semantic field depends on the context in which it occurs, and it determines the different shades of the meaning of this word. This verb requires an object, which can be something abstract, such as justice or peace. In each case, this verb contains the meaning of activity, action, dynamism. The action of the verb דָּרַשׁ (dāraš) comes true only when you realize what you are looking for. It is surprising that the theological use of this verb is more frequent than the common one, and most often the subject of דָּרַשׁ (dāraš) is a human being, and the complement, i.e. the object of search, is God.
The expression יהוה דָּרַשׁ (dāraš YHWH), which appears in today’s First Reading (Is 55:6-9), in a theological sense defines the fundamental attitude of someone who belongs to the people of God, which is loyalty. God responds to this attitude with his own loyalty and allows himself to be found. It should be noted that this expression occupies an important place in the teachings of the prophets. Indeed, Isaiah cries, “Seek the Lord, while He is able to be found. Call upon Him, while He is near.” (Is 55:6), and through the prophet Amos God says similarly: “Seek me, and you will live” (Amos 5:4). God also says through Isaiah that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways”, which means that it is crucial for man to seek God. Seeking God, therefore, means knowing and accepting the mentality of God in His free generosity. Isaiah calls for conversion because God is generous in forgiveness.
Today’s Gospel (Mt 20:1-16) shows the generous face of God in giving: “Friend, I caused you no injury. Did you not agree with me to one denarius? – says the host in Jesus’ parable – It is My will to give to this last, just as to you. And is it not lawful for Me to do what I will? Or is your eye wicked because I am good?”. May we all be able not only to “Seek God”, but also to accept and enjoy His generosity.