I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the children of Israel.
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed: “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. R.Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. R.Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. R.Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
By Patty Breen
As a little girl, I had lots of different nicknames. My maternal grandfather, Papa, called me “Peaches”. My mom would call me cute-sy things like “girlie gumdrops” or “love bunny.” My beloved Aunt Carolyn called me “Patsy Cline” after the female country singer.
Nicknames are tender ways our loved ones fondly know and call us; they indicate a level of closeness and intimacy.
Like my own family members, Jesus has particular nicknames he uses with me in prayer and reflection, “Patty-kins” or “my Patty.”
Regardless or not whether you have a specific nickname with Jesus, there is one name He has for you that is the most important, Beloved.
The second reading today reminds me of the life-changing reality it is to be called a child of God. To be called a child of God means I am a daughter, deeply loved and known by the heart of the Father. To be a child of God means I am Beloved; the only way Jesus looks at me, the only name He will ever use for me.
Jesus does not give His children labels or put His beloveds in a box. There is only one way He looks at me, as a beloved daughter. I have to let go and break down the lies I believe or the shame unnecessarily carried in my heart.
These are burdens I am not meant to carry
Let Jesus call you beloved. Allow Him to give you a tender, loving nickname. Go deeper in your relationship with God as you explore and understand what it means that you are a beloved daughter or son. If you are new to understanding this concept of being called Beloved by Jesus, get yourself a copy of Henri Nouwen’s book, Life of the Beloved, to take to your personal prayer.
For that journey of reflection and prayer will forever change your personal relationship with God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patty Breen has been working in parish ministry for over ten years and is a writer for Blessed is She. A Midwestern girl from the Mitten state, Patty finds joy in running, strong cups of coffee, Ignatian spirituality, and is mildly obsessed with Thomas Merton. She is passionate about messy conversations at the intersection of faith, culture, and ministry. Her passions in ministry include ministry to divorced Catholics and women whose relationships have been impacted by sexual addiction. You can find her writing online at America Magazine, CatholicMatch, Grotto Network, and Verily. Find her blogging and gramming about life while learning to find grace in all things.