We concluded the Christmas season yesterday with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Today, as we enter "ordinary" time, the Gospel recounts Jesus's call of the first apostles.
May the words from the Gospels both yesterday and today seep into our bones and marrow and sinews and may we come to understand two fundamental truths about ourselves and each person:
- We are God's beloved with whom He is well pleased.
- God has a purpose for each of us and He invites us into His mission.
Let this sink in. The Creator of the universe loves you. He cares about you and so desires a relationship with you that He will never stop pursuing your heart. You are loved.
And, being His beloved gives all of us eternal worth. We aren't loved because we did anything or could do anything to earn it. Rather, we have value because we are loved. Because we are loved, we have purpose. Each person matters.
Breathe this in.
You are loved. You have purpose.
God rent the heavens to come to earth to communicate these truths. He took on our sinfulness, our brokenness, our mess, our frailty, and our death to show us that we are loved, and because we are loved we have a role to play in His mission to bring others into relationship with Him.
There is nothing you did or can do to merit this love or to strip it away. You are loved.
But, once we accept and acknowledge that we are His beloved, we must "be love" to others. You are beloved. So, go "be love."
You are loved. And, you have a purpose: love.
Love your family. Love your friends. Love your coworkers and classmates and community members. Love your enemies.
Accept that you are loved and then go fish for people to share it with.
God's love is so big and amazing and infinite and merciful and transformative that it is meant to be given away.
You can't go back to the nets and boats. Leave them on the shore.
Come and follow Him.
He loves you, and you have a purpose.