by Ken Rolheiser
To see ourselves as God sees us

“The one you seek is seeking you.” Rumi

Pope Francis talks about “next door saints” in the people around us. The importance of our everyday lives is reflected in the thirty years of private life Jesus lived with his family, humbly working with Joseph. Only three years were given to his public ministry.

The time we spend at our jobs and building our families is a time of patient holiness. In God’s eyes every moment and every gesture in our hidden and often simple lives is significant. Our acts of service and discipleship are also important as was the life of Christ’s ministry.

St Bridget of Sweden received a revelation from Mary about her Son Jesus, “There is the same humility in my Son now as there was when he was laid in a manger.”
Mary said that Jesus continues to humble himself toward , “all who speak to him with love.” And he does this by sending the Holy Spirit.

If we turn to Jesus in prayer, no matter how lowly we think we are, Jesus will humble himself and come and show himself to us. Jesus will send the Holy Spirit to strengthen us when we pray and ask for help. Jesus has risen, and the door to heaven is now wide open.

At the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River the heavens opened and a voice said: “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” I have often wondered if God is pleased with us like that. Now I know.

I know God is pleased with our lives and our service. And God is pleased with the love and service we give our family members and fellow workers. As retired workers we carry on with our service to our children and grandchildren, and to the community. 

No matter our station in life, there is much to do and much to be grateful for. We are God’s favorites. If you were the only person needing salvation, Jesus would have died for you. In fact, he did. We are God’s special saints in the making. In our hearts we know this to be true.

God loves each of us the most. As parents, we love our children equally. As a teacher I could not allow myself to have “teacher’s pets”. But my understanding of all this changed when I became a grandfather. Each of my grandchildren is my favorite. 

I get to love them more as I get to know them better. I know some of them better because of more time spent with them. It is much like that with God. He knew us before we were born. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5.

And in Psalm 2:7 God speaks: “You are my son, this day I have begotten you.” As we become brothers and sisters of Christ, we become the children of God. Today, God has begotten us. This is a mystery to be appreciated. But oh, we are so human!

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us!” Robbie Burns  

To see ourselves as God sees us would make all the difference. God loves us more because of our weaknesses. In much the same way a grandparent has to have more love and patience for an errant child. With God’s Grace we will do wonderfully well.

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