Holy and beloved.
Those are the words that Saint Paul uses to describe the believers in Colossae in today’s First Reading. (See Colossians 3:12.) And because we believe that Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it is alive and endlessly relevant, we can take those adjectives and apply them to ourselves as well.
Holy and beloved.
That is the way God sees us. Is that how we see ourselves?
I’m sure you, like me, have experienced rejection, have been disappointed by the people in your life, have had relationships fall apart. The thought of being someone’s "beloved" sounds like a dream and never a reality.
And as for holiness, already today I have lost my temper with my kids, said something uncharitable to my husband, talked behind someone’s back, and spent way too much time ogling over stuff I do not need on Amazon. And it’s not even lunch time.
How easy it is to look at myself and think, “holy and beloved I am not.”
And yet that is what we are. We are made in the image of God which is holy. We are washed from original sin through Baptism. By being in a relationship with Jesus and participating in the life of the Church, we receive all the graces we need to live the holy lives He calls us to. And we are His beloved, known by Him before the world began, designed with a purpose, precious enough to die for.
When we see ourselves the way God sees us—as holy and beloved, when we believe that that is what we are, His dear chosen daughters, the power of that truth overflows in our lives. Not only do we see ourselves as holy and beloved, we see those around us that way too.
We are able to “put on . . . heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another” (Colossians 3:12-13). This is the fruit of an identity found in Christ.
Read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us about our identity.
Anna Coyne is a wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic Faith. She is a classically trained pianist who, after teaching for ten years now stays home with her three young children. but still manages to flex her creative muscles through writing, knitting, and gardening. She is proud to call Saint Paul home and loves everything about living in Minnesota, except for winter. You can find out more about her here.