How Does God See You?

First Reading: Wisdom 11:22-12:2

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14

R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Brothers and sisters:
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed
either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”



A wise mentor recently prayed I might “see myself as God sees me.”

I tucked this thought into my brain and carried it with me all day, turning it over at the gym, mulling over it as I ferried kids to and from activities, chewing on it as I tried to fall asleep—attempting to crack open a truth so heavily cloaked in doubt.

How does God see me?

I know what the answer is supposed to be: He looks at me as His precious, cherished daughter. He sees me and smiles. But how I see myself has created a narrative in which I can more easily imagine His frustration at my laundry list of sins and His exasperation that I allow so many worldly pursuits to distract me from working toward desperately needed virtues.

Sure, He sees others and smiles with ease. But me? Even I can see how small and unworthy I am in the shadow of His glory. Like Zachheus from today’s Gospel, I’d rather view God from afar than believe He really desires to let Himself into my mess. It’s easier to accept that He sees me as more project than priceless masterwork, as more of an offender to His sensibilities than a daughter with whom He wants to sit and eat, with whom He longs to build a real father-daughter relationship — despite my failures.

Loving Father that He actually is, the very next morning God countered my self-doubt and laid out the truth of His Love word by word in today’s First Reading.

“You’re right, daughter,” He said.

“To Me, the whole universe is but single grain. But only because my capacity to love is so big and so wide. Far from loathing, I can’t help but cherish everything I’ve deliberately fashioned—meaning you. I am a lover of souls—your soul. Your smallness cannot negate the bigness of My love for you. Because your love and mercy are limited, you believe mistakes can limit My love and mercy. You forget I am limitless. Yes, I see your shortcomings, but they cannot make you less loveable. Those shortcomings will slowly fall away as you move toward Me—but only as much as you accept the truth of My love for you.

Read My words again and let these be the words you carry and mull over: I see you and I love you, handcrafted daughter of mine.

Believe it.”

Do you see yourself as God sees you? Or do you limit His love based on your own self-doubts and insecurities? Re-read the First Reading and let the truth of our Father’s love seep into your heart.

Megan Hjelmstad is a wife, mom, writer and sometimes soldier whose real passion is equal parts faith and chocolate. You can find out more about her here.

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