Know That You Will Be Welcomed!

Know that You are Welcome

“And Jesus when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were sheep not having a shepherd.” Mk. 6:34.

“Not being welcome is your greatest fear. It connects with your birth fear, your fear of not being welcome in this life, and your death fear, your fear of not being welcome in the life after this. It is the deep-seated fear that it would have been better if you had not lived.

Here you are facing the core of the spiritual battle. Are you going to give in to the forces of darkness that say you are not welcome in this life, or can you trust the voice of the One who came not to condemn you but to set you free from fear? You have to choose life. At every moment you have to decide to trust the voice that says, “I love you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb” (Psalms 139:13).

Everything Jesus is saying to you can be summarized in the words “Know that you are welcome.” Jesus offers you his own most intimate life with the Father. “

Fr. Henri Nouwen.

We all want to belong, to feel “welcomed”–we join our tribes, teams, and follow their rules, even when we hurt others. The reality is we will never feel completely welcomed. There is a longing within each of us for something more. That longing is being in a relationship with our Creator, who loves us, cares for us, and leads us into acts of compassion.

    I have struggled with feeling “unwelcomed” all my life, have sought fulfillment in receiving four degrees, saying the right words, being in the right places, being a prostitute, doing whatever my friends wanted,  but in the end, the feeling of loneliness overwhelms me. Everyone walks away–accept God.

    It is only, for me, in the words of Henri Nouwen:   to “decide to trust the voice that says, “I love you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb”. (Psalms 139:13), that I come home, am truly welcomed.

     It is in that trust that one can live in compassion without fear. In that trust one can cry, and hold the hand of a young man who is being forced to stay in a fleabag motel because his parents have coronavirus; it is in that trust that one can take groceries to his parents, feeling their pain and loving them; it is in that trust that one can look a young man breathing his last breath in the eye, and say to him, “All will be well;” it is in that trust one can love and forgive those who do violence; it is in that trust that leads into not fearing.

    And that trust is difficult, we have to work at it, every day. We have to work by holding the hand of God in service to others for it in each person we see the face of Christ.  We have to work at this trust by taking a deep breath, in pain and know that it is on the faith we take this journey, no black and white guarantees, and in that faith, we see the Light, we see the face of Jesus in glimpses and then in his full glory.     This journey is “working out our salvation”–and in our “working” we will find ourselves feeling welcome little by little, and each glimpse of that One in the faces of others suffering opens our eyes until in full brightness we behold our Father. “Thou shalt love the Lord that God with all thy mind, strength and soul, and thy neighbor as thyself.” All will be well!

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Sims, sfw, D.Min.,D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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