I never knew you

Have you ever known a namedropper?   You know, someone who always mentions the important people he or she knows?   Usually, the person is exaggerating, with some distant connection or contact turning into  “I know that person well!”

In today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 7:23), Jesus makes it clear that name-dropping doesn’t work with him.   He wants to have a real, living relationship with us.  He doesn’t want us to settle for a passing acquaintance.   He wants us to know him personally, just as he knows us.   Even if we’re busy doing his work—whether in our homes, in our communities, or in our parishes—he wants us also to be growing closer to him in our hearts.   Jesus doesn’t want just servants; he wants friends.

What does it mean to know Jesus personally?   How does anyone go about building a relationship with the eternal Son of God?   It may sound awfully complicated, but it really isn’t.   It’s pretty much the same way you build a relationship with anyone else.   You spend time with him; you talk to him;  you listen to him;   you learn to trust him;   you share secrets with him;   you let him see you at your best and at your worst.

Don’t let the tone of today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 7:23) frighten you.   Jesus deeply wants you to come to know him, but he’s not about to abandon you because your relationship with him isn’t as deep as the holiest of saints.   Rather than worrying about whether Jesus will say, “I never knew you,” make it your goal to come to know him better.

Wherever you are with Jesus now, try to go a little deeper.   As you read Scripture, listen a little more closely for his voice in your heart.   Get in the habit of writing down what you think he is saying.   Then take the time to talk to him.   Tell him about your day.   Open up about your hopes and fears, and see if you sense him offering you his guidance or consolation.   By investing in this relationship, you are building your house on a foundation solid enough to withstand any storm.

Word Among Us

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