21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Our readings today share a common thread: nothing is hidden from God. He sees everything, even to the depths of our hearts. In our first reading, Paul defends himself, asserting, “You are witnesses, and so is God” to how honorably he has behaved (1 Thessalonians 2:10). The psalmist then proclaims that God knows him through and through, wherever he goes and whatever he does (139:1-2). And finally, Jesus warns the scribes and Pharisees that God can see through their hypocrisy—and so can he (Matthew 23:27).
Thinking about God’s all-knowing gaze can make us uneasy. But the truth is, he looks at us with a gaze of love. So let’s join with the psalmist and rejoice that we are fully known and fully loved.
You have searched me and you know me, Lord (Psalm Response). “Jesus, nothing is hidden from you. You know me better than I even know myself. How could you not? ‘You knit me in my mother’s womb’ (139:13). You see my best impulses to love you and care for other people, and you see my worst, most selfish desires. You see it all, Lord, and even so, you invite me to come to you and receive your mercy. You remind me that I am your child, and you heal my waywardness. Your gaze of love warms my heart and gives me courage. With you, Lord, I am not afraid of being known.
Where can I go from your spirit? (Psalm 139:7). “Thank you, Lord, that your Holy Spirit is always with me even when I can’t feel it. You never leave my side! And yet, Lord, I still avoid you sometimes! I busy myself with distractions and get immersed in my daily tasks. I delight in the world you created but neglect spending time with you, the God who made it. I drift into a haze of doubt and wonder if this life is all there is. Sometimes I even flee to the darkness of anger and despair to escape the suffering of life. But wherever I go, you are already there. ‘Even there your hand shall guide me, and your right hand hold me fast’ (139:10). No matter how deep my darkness, it ‘is not dark’ for you (139:12).”
“I rejoice, Lord, that I am fully known and fully loved. Thank you for always being at my side!”
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13