This Gospel rattles my bones every time I read it or hear it proclaimed at Mass.
I imagine being one of those who knocks on the door and the Lord says to me, "I do not know where you are from. Depart from me" (Luke 13:27).
My heart explodes with regret when I envision being faced with such rejection from the Lord Himself. But if I am transparent with myself, there are many times in my life when I could join in with the statement of those knocking, "We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets," (Luke 13:26), essentially telling Jesus, "Yes, I saw you around. I heard you speaking, but I wasn't exactly listening."
In our time today, this can look like going to Mass but never really paying attention. It can look like going to an array of church events to meet people and socialize, but never actually cultivating a prayer life. It looks like an autopilot, lethargic, passionless faith, and this is not what Christ wants for us.
The Saints showed us what the antidote to facing such banishment from the Lord is . . . it is to know the person of Jesus Christ. When we read any of their writings or their prayers and it is crystal clear—the Saints didn't just know about Jesus—they knew Him. And they let knowing Him spring forth in them a desire to be just like Him.
It is one thing to hang out around Jesus . . . it is a different choice to really, truly know Him, to love Him, and to passionately listen to what He says and let it continually affect and change our lives.
The Lord desires that we would do more than just be "around"—He desires intimate relationship with us. He desires for us to want to get to know Him as a person—and therefore love Him—and therefore serve Him. My prayer is that when I knock on the door, by the way I have lived and known Jesus, the Lord would open up the door, see me, and say,
"Ah, Emily. I know you. Come in."
How can you know Him and be known? Write down three ways you can move toward this knowing today.
Emily Wilson-Hussem planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves every second of it. She is the author of I Choose the Sky and Go Bravely. You can find out more about her here.