By the time the gospels were written Jesus was referred to as “the Beloved.” God the Father revealed Jesus as His Beloved at the baptism by John in the Jordan River (Matt. 3:17, Mk. 1:11, Luke 3:22). God the Father reaffirmed this revelation during the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matt. 17:22, Mk. 9:7, Luke 9:35). Jesus experienced himself as the Beloved of God. He knew this in his whole being and from this knowledge He lived, preached, and died. It was central to His identity as the Son of Man.
In John’s Gospel the evangelist spoke about the “Beloved Disciple” (John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 20:8, 21:20, and 21:7). The question raised by many scholars and readers of the gospel is, “Who is the Beloved Disciple?” Traditionally many have concluded that the Beloved Disciple” was John, the brother of James whose father was Zebedee. The Beloved Disciple in the Gospel of John remains unnamed. Modern scholarship has proposed that the Beloved Disciple is all the followers of Jesus of all time. It is a tool by which the listener or the reader can insert himself or herself into the gospel story. I encourage you to read his gospel from this point of view. It opens for you a reality that is so profound and so true. If we are the Beloved Disciple, we are the Beloved of God the Father.
Following the logic that I have proposed we can conclude that, “I am, you are, the Beloved of God the Father.” This is the fundamental truth of our faith. One of the Eucharistic Prayers used at Mass references this by stating, “You see and love in us what you see and love in Him (Jesus).” If God the Father sees Jesus as His Beloved, He must also see us as His Beloved. St. Augustine came to realize this love God had for him. He wrote the following in The Confessions of St. Augustine, “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you.” This knowledge as the Beloved of God is found in the heart and not in the mind because love’s origin is in the heart. In the heart of God is found the simple truth—we are the Beloved.
The challenge is to live our whole lives from this reality. Imagine how the world would look if everyone could live from this simple, profound truth? We hold within ourselves the very solution to all the world’s problems. This is looking at it from God’s point of view and not ours, but it is the only point of view that really counts. I guess I would call this “God’s Political Platform.” The details of this platform are found in the Bible. Moving this platform forward begins with one person at a time—it begins with me! It begins with seeing ourselves as God’s Beloved. Most of humanity has yet to come to this realization and I, I struggle with its embrace, but I am trying. My sinfulness blinds me from time to time, but even in one’s sinfulness one can strive to look within and discover “O Beauty ever ancient, ever new!”
Yours in Christ,