“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” – Is. 49:15

In today’s first reading, (Is 49:8-15) the Lord says, “I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners: Come out!”  And God assures Zion, that “even should a mother forget the child in her womb…I will never forget you.”

In today’s Gospel (Jn 5:17-30), the Jews threaten to kill Jesus “because he not only broke the sabbath, but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.”

Jesus responds, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.”

As I reflect on these beautiful readings I am moved by the incredible love and intimacy that God has for his people, including me. I understand that part of this relationship is the “lifting up” of humanity to an undeserved partnership in the creation and salvation of this world. The “God of the old Testament” creates a covenant with his chosen people which is closer than a mother to the baby she is carrying. It is hard to imagine a more intimate relationship. Then he actually becomes one of us in Jesus Christ, his new covenant. Jesus knows and accepts his father’s love, acknowledges his own “sonship.”

Since I am a child of God, each day is a new opportunity for me to be part of the creation and “re-creation” of this beautiful, hurting world. As Catholics, we believe that we can join our sufferings to Jesus Christ’s passion and be partners in our own redemption. This incredible gift God gives to me, his beloved creature, reaches through my shame, my sense of unworthiness, my ignorance and sanctifies me.

When I am at my best, I know that when I reach out to someone who is hurting, when I stand up for those without a voice, forgive someone who has wronged me, show kindness to a stranger, stand breathless at the sunset over the ocean, receive Eucharist, allow myself to be loved, express profound gratitude, I accept my rightful place as a true child of God and bring the Kingdom a bit closer to fruition in this world.

How am I manifesting God in the world today?
Have I let myself be loved today?
How have I felt joy in the beauty of God’s world today?
Have I said thank you to our Creator for my life?

Mary Schimmoller