Today’s post is from guest contributor Sr. Donna McGartland. Sr. Donna is on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. She is also one of the authors in Love Tenderly: Sacred Stories of Lesbian and Queer Religious published by New Ways Ministry.
Today’s liturgical readings for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time can be found here.
God speaks through the prophet, Isaiah: “I formed you from the womb to be my servant. I call you back to me and gather you in my embrace.” And I respond, “I am made glorious in God’s sight and God is now my strength!” (Is 49:5, paraphrased)
“It is too little,” says God, “for you to be my servant, to raise up and restore the survivors; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6, paraphrased)
These are words that all of us always want to hear, especially those who have been hurt or excluded by others because of who we were created to be, such as those of us in the LGBTQ+ community.
The message is worth repeating: God formed us in the womb and made us who we are. We are glorious in God’s sight!! No one can call us less for we are invited to dwell in God’s embrace. We are strengthened by this reality.
Many times throughout our lives we heard another message that says we are not enough. We were shamed into believing that we are flawed. This isn’t from God. Isaiah is clear about this and calls us to recognize that:
1. We are made glorious! God formed us as we are. Paul says that we are holy! Our very existence is precious in God’s sight.
2. God’s strength is always within us! This strength calls us to raise up others and to restore their relationship with God. Before we can do that, we must believe that God’s strength will heal us, raise us up and restore us to right relationship with God and ourselves.
3. We are called to be a light for others and to enable them to embrace this same reality of God’s immense love for each of us.
WOW!! God loved us from our conception. Isaiah cannot be any clearer. We are made Glorious in God’s sight.
Sit in that reality now. Feel God’s power and love forming you in the womb and creating you to be the person you are. Hear God call you by your name.
“(Insert God’s name for you), you are made glorious!
It is I who form you as you are.
You are my Beloved. You are Holy!
I am with you and always will be.
I will strengthen you. I love you!”
Feel God’s love flow over you and transform all the voices within that are contrary to God’s loving presence.
You are God’s Beloved, made in God’s image and likeness.
May you be strengthened in this Truth. May you radiate this Light to others.
—Sr. Donna McGartland, January 15, 2023