– Br. Michael, ofm
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born, I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
– Jeremiah 1.4-5
The great sense of being known, being held in love, being desired is something we all seek as a sense of this approval and acceptance. We seek it in relationships, in our work and in our living. We sometimes seek it in false places and in ways as our hearts yearn to be known and seen and valued. Our world is not an easy place to encounter true validation for it wants to validate us based on gain for its purposes and false fronts.
Our God on the other hand knows us intimately and although that may make us squirm a bit, this is a truth which is the true freedom of being known, consecrated and appointed. No need to masquerade behind tasks done, goals reached or images projected. God sees beyond all of this and knows who we are – our truest self – and how we are woven together with the very DNA of God. God knows us for God has formed us in the womb; we are flesh of flesh and bone of bone; we are heart of heart and soul of soul. God is infused into us. At times this may feel unknown or obscured. At other times it may be obvious and still at other times we may doubt. No matter the journey or the time, no matter how much we have been seeking or doubting, it is with deep love and mercy that our God always knows each one of us.
God consecrates us because God is love. This consecration is declaring that we are valid, beloved, holy, appointed and worthy simply because of who we are in belonging to God. Our consecration is a declaration of our dignity, the gifts we possess, the breath we breathe and the light we shine because we are of God.
Consecration can seem as a setting apart from. We should rather view it as a being connected to something greater. We are connected to the very Source of life and the love, mercy and graces that flow from this Source into who we are is our call to holiness. Our consecration is God declaring, “you are good, very good.” It is God claiming us again and again. It is God wiping our away sins and missteps. It is God appointing us as prophets, maybe not in the likes of Jeremiah or Isaiah, but rather in the way that each of us carry an important message of good news, because we are known.
you speak my name
it echoes in the depths of who I am
because you know me.
You speak my name
with dignity, worth and holiness
because I am consecrated.
You speak my name
filling me with light and goodness
because in you I come to know who I am.
I praise you for this wonder
as I carry your message
into my living and being.
Photo credit: Eyasu Etsub