Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
“Knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.”
There is a difference between being known and being loved.
I think a lot of people know what it’s like to be loved, but not truly be known. I think back to a retreat that I went on in 11th grade and how close we all became. There were only 17 of us for the week, and we all instantly became best friends. When somebody said, “When I get married I am going to invite every single one of you to the wedding” we all instantly agreed! We are going to be friends for life, we thought. We loved each other very much, but the truth is we hardly knew anything about each other. I probably didn’t know the last names of half the people in the group. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of love, but unless it deepens it’s not lasting. It’s not enough to just be loved, you also long to be known! Though it might be comforting and nice for a while, being loved without being known just doesn’t endure.
Being known without being loved is a bit worse. I once read a quote that said, “Man’s greatest fear is to be known, but not loved.” I think we can all relate to this. To be known and not loved feels the same as being rejected. It’s the reason we are afraid of being vulnerable. What if I show them who they really are and they don’t love me? What if I open myself up and wind up getting hurt again? What if I let my defenses down and they think I’m a fraud?
Sometimes in my life I find myself relating to God in one of these two ways.
When I was a kid, I knew that God was love, but I had no idea he knew me personally. I didn’t think Jesus even knew I would ever exist. God’s love was real, but it hadn’t yet personally impacted my life.
On the other hand, sometimes I forget that I’m loved by God. I don’t doubt that he knows me (and that means he knows everything that I’ve done - good and bad!) but I forget that he loves me. When all I see is my sin instead of God’s love, I act like Adam & Eve in the garden and I hide from God and try to protect myself.
In today’s reading God reminds us that not only are we loved by Him, but we’re also known by Him! “Brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.” Nothing that we do surprises God. He knew everything we’d ever do and chose us anyway, so there’s no reason to be afraid or hide. God looks at your life just as it is, with all its bumps and bruises, strengths and weaknesses, and chooses to love you! Everything that Jesus did on earth was because He loves you and He chose you.
Jesus chose the cross because He chose you. He looks upon your whole life and he loves you, and he will do anything to be with you forever. It’s safe to share your whole life with Him, and it’s the only way to know the fullness of His love.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Have you ever really been loved? By who? How did it make you feel? Have you ever really been known? By who? How did it make you feel?
Do you know you are known by God? How so? Do you know that you are loved by God? How so?
Do you share your whole life with Jesus? Why or why not?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"I am known and loved."
"Jesus gave up His life for me."
"I am chosen by God."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Sometimes, it is really hard or scary to be known and to be loved. Today, go sit before Jesus, in adoration or in front of the tabernacle, and repeat to yourself, "Jesus knows and loves me."
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Chris O'Hara, an evangelist in Canada.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.