9 May 2017
There’s strength in knowing that you belong to someone. It’s a reason why Jesus is able to speak so plainly with others: he belongs to God the Father, and he knows it. He doesn’t have to worry about offending these people or those people: he belongs to the Father, and that’s where his loyalty lies.
And it’s a reason why those early Christians could still preach the good news, even in the midst of the persecutions: they belonged to Christ—not just as a nice idea, but really and truly. They didn’t have to worry about getting these people or those people mad at them; they belonged to Christ, and that’s where their loyalty lay. There’s strength in knowing that you belong to someone—especially when that someone is God himself.
When Jesus talks about his followers, he calls them “my sheep.” He calls us “his” sheep. It’s so easy to overlook that little possessive pronoun. But we can’t. We belong to him; we are “his”—even more definitively than two best friends belong to one another. And knowing that we never walk alone—unless we choose to—knowing that we are always in the hands of God is a reason for us to be strong in faith. It’s a reason for us to go through life with confidence that, no matter what, we are deeply, irrevocably loved by our God.
It’s why we wear a crucifix on necklaces or rings or bracelets. It’s why we make the Sign of the Cross over ourselves. It’s why we come to the altar of God with joy and not slugglishness. We do all that (and more) because we know that we don’t go it alone—we are the Lord’s sheep; we are “his,” and he always has our back. And there’s strength in knowing that.
No matter comes in life, there’s strength in knowing that we belong to someone—especially when that someone is none other than God himself. He is our refuge; he is our joy; he is our strength.