Thursday, May 15, 2014

God Delights in . . . .You

[Jesus said to his disciples]: I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when He comes, the Spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth (John 16:12-13a).

[The Holy Spirit says of Himself] . . . then was I beside Him as his craftsman, and I was His delight day by day, playing before Him all the while, playing on the surface of His earth; and I found delight in the human race (Proverbs 8:30-31).

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Romans 5:1-5).

The Scripture readings played in my mind for days after I heard them during the Mass. The more they played, the more I contemplated their interconnectedness. And the more I contemplated their connectedness, the more relaxed my spirit grew.

Jesus tells us through the gospel reading that the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. That was not new information to me. I’ve known the Holy Spirit’s guidance through Scripture for more than forty years. But as I mused over the readings I learned something new. Actually, I learned it again:

God delights in us. More to the point, the Holy Spirit reminded me through the Proverbs text that while God delights in us, He also takes delight in me.

He considers me of great value. Even while I was shaking my fist in His face during my younger years, God loved me nonetheless. He loved me so much that He gave His Son to die for me (Romans 5:8).

And He gave His Son to die for you, too. Why? Because He delights in you.

And because He takes delight in us, St. Paul could write the words of our second reading: All who have placed their faith in Christ stand before God justified (from a Greek word meaning “to be declared without guilt”).

Think of it for a moment. Those who approach God in humble faith through the sacrifice of Christ are justified – declared by God to be without guilt. 

Without guilt! Cleansed of our sin. Free from the eternal consequences of our sin.

Hey! God’s not mad at us. He’s not looking to get even with us, to whip us into conformity. To teach us who’s boss. To throw us into hell.

The Holy Spirit took the time that weekend to remind me through those texts that He really, really, really delights in me. He loves me. Without condition. Without permutation. He delights in me. He loves me – even as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23).

And He feels the same way about you, too.

Oh, if only I – if only we – can mature in our faith to the point where His promise takes root – and blossoms – only then can we finally experience the confidence in our heart that the Word of God offers us.

Oh, Holy Spirit. Please make it so.

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