The Lord delights in you.
Let that sink in for a moment.
The Lord DELIGHTS in you. The Lord delights in YOU. Today, I invite us to reflect on the responsorial psalm and the way we can emphasize these two words in our lives: delight and you.
First, delight. Merriam-Webster defines delight as “to take great pleasure.” The Lord takes great pleasure in you. Our God is a God of great, big, unending, unfailing love. He loves us so much that He couldn’t imagine a life without us, despite the consequences of the fall and original sin. And, out of love, God sent His only Beloved Son to live among us, to suffer and die in order to reconcile us to the Father, to return us to His love and to eternal life with Him in that love.
When we live our lives according to His ways, His heart, His desires, He takes great pleasure in us. When we accomplish His works of sharing the Gospel and building the Kingdom of God here on earth, He takes great pleasure in us. When we work to bring others into the kingdom, He takes pleasure in us. When we remain faithful to Him in prayer and in the sacraments, He takes great pleasure in us.
But what about those other times when we are broken, bruised and damaged from sin, from the darkness that creeps into life? Can He really take pleasure in that?
Yes. He takes pleasure in our return to Him when we seek a way out of the messiness and into the light of His love. When we return to the open arms of a loving Father, no matter how slow and no matter how painful it may be, He takes pleasure in us. All He wants to do is to show us how much we are loved, to show us how He sees us in the eyes of love.
Second, you. Our identity is rooted in God. We are a beloved son or daughter in His eyes, nothing less. God wants to show us how much more He loves us, values us, cares for us than we do ourselves. There is nothing that we can do that can destroy our identity in Christ. The biggest, worst sin we could commit is nothing compared to the cross, to the sacrificial love that the Father showed us in Jesus Christ.
Many of us struggle with affirmation, with being told how good we are or how strong we are or how (insert anything here) we are. If we struggle to hear these words on a human level, what happens when we hear it from our Heavenly Father?
Take some time in prayer, brothers and sisters, before the Blessed Sacrament if you can. Sit before Him and bask in His love. Be affirmed that you are good in His eyes. Open up those spaces in your heart that have been hidden in darkness and self-condemnation and begin to delight in yourself as the Lord delights in you.
Erin is a Cleveland native and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. Following graduation, she began volunteering in youth ministry at her home parish of Holy Family Church. Her first “big girl” job was in collegiate sports information where, after a busy two years in the profession on top of serving the youth, she took a leap of faith and followed the Lord’s call to full-time youth ministry at St. Peter Church. She still hopes to use her communication arts degree as a freelance writer and statistician, though. You can catch her on the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter @erinmadden2016.