Fourth Sunday of Easter

“Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are… Beloved, we are God’s children now.” The term “beloved” in my own spiritual journey is one that has taken me considerable time to understand, receive, embrace, believe.  A word that can be difficult to say.  A name that can be challenging to hear. A phrase that can seem unattainable or impossible to realize. But God’s plan is that we will all come to know, believe and experience the great love he has for us.  A love that is personal, intimate, sincere, intentional. What does it mean to be “beloved”? From God’s perspective, the source all love originates from, flows from and is continually nourished and sustain from; to be God’s “beloved” is to be the center of his attention, the constant thought on his mind, the precious object of his affection, the apple of his eye, the burning desire of his heart. To be-loved by God is to permit God to be who he is and to be whom he created us to be, for he is love and we are his beloved. So when the Beloved Disciple says to our hearts, “Beloved, we are God’s children now” what does that mean? What does that say to you? I think, funny it’s great that God so loves me and now has made me his beloved child but it begs the question, whose child was I before I became his? Whom did I belong to? Was it Adam and Eve my creation parents? Or perhaps Mary and Joseph my new creation parents? Or maybe my biological parents or my godparents or even those whom God has graciously given to me to be my spiritual parents? Now that we are God’s children, whose children were we before? The truth is we were and have always been God’s children. God created us in his love, helped us in his grace, forgave us in his mercy, and continues to love us in eternity. And even when we couldn’t reach him because we drifted so far from him, even though we couldn’t see him because we preferred darkness, even though we couldn’t hear him because we preferred other sounds and voices, even when we failed to love him, God continued to love us; we continued to be-loved by him for we are his beloved. “Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” 

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