Here is my chosen one with whom I am well pleased. (Isaiah 42:1)
You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22)
By Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S.
While the words cited above refer to and were spoken to Jesus specifically, our faith tells us that they apply to you and me as well. You are beloved of God. You are a beloved son, or a beloved daughter; and God takes pleasure in you. Let that sink in for a moment.
Our celebration of the Lord’s baptism reminds us of our own baptism. In those waters we were washed clean of sin and made heirs to a heavenly inheritance. It was there that God looked upon you, and saw a beloved child. It was also in those waters that your journey of discipleship and service began. Just as Jesus had a mission, so do you. You are uniquely called to follow Jesus and participate in his mission. And here’s the best part: we do it not to earn the love of God, for we already have that. We do it because we are beloved of God.
If you are anything like me it is easy to forget this truth. “God loves everyone,” we proclaim openly, yet in the privacy of our hearts we fail to believe it. Maybe it’s because of your past, or maybe it’s rooted in a lie that you were told earlier in your life that you aren’t lovable. Maybe you have a list of things you feel you have to get right in order for God to love you. Whatever the block is for you, it is a lie. The truth is you are God’s beloved.
You are beloved. Not because of your ministry, or volunteer work, or even because of your prayers. You are beloved because God loves and takes great joy in you. Whatever lie about yourself or false belief keeps you from embracing and living this truth needs to be dispelled from your heart, and replaced with a deep and abiding belief in God’s love for you. Christian joy and discipleship are rooted in sharing the Father’s love with others. At the Jordan, Jesus heard his Father’s words and from there launched his ministry. We are called to do the same.
Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S., is the director of vocation ministry for the Cincinnati Province.