Knowing Vs. Inviting

Kyra, my new student in 6th grade has never even heard about Jesus. We’re in the middle of the first quarter, Catholic Doctrine curriculum for a 6th-grade level (assuming all others have built a foundational understanding from years past in a Catholic grade school). Seeing her facial reactions the information I provided on Salvation History was a bit priceless. When you evangelize and spread the Good News to someone who has never heard it before, that is a heck of an experience. For a moment I had to stop and think to myself, wow this probably does sound super crazy.

Growing up in the Catholic faith or a Christian home makes some of our core beliefs less shocking than those who have not. Just think about it, we believe in only one God- in 3 Divine Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are unique persons with different characteristics and roles, yet all are One. When One acts- the whole Trinity acts. When you receive One Person of the Trinity, you are receiving the grace of the whole Trinity. Summarizing Salvation History and showing her the separation or the Old and New Testament was definitely new for her. The moment her eyes almost popped out of their sockets was when I told her what God did for us. We, as His created people, kept breaking covenants (promises) with God. He wanted to be in a relationship with us and bring us back to Him after sin came into the picture. For the ENTIRE Old Testament, this continues to happen! Finally, He sends His only Son, Jesus Christ to become human. Literally, the creating, all-powerful, everlasting GOD chooses to take on our human flesh! He wants to talk to us face to face, just like we’d rather talk to our best friend in person than through letters and voicemails of phone tag.

With this big recap of our entire faith, Kyra brought up some pretty good questions. Throughout these questions and the input of her classmates, I realized a big misconception my students (probably many people) have. They said, “Ms. C if God knows EVERYTHING about me and every moment of my life, why do I have to tell Him things that He already knows?” Well, just like I could see my friend got engaged on social media, I’d rather have her tell me the story face to face than find out from someone/ someplace else. It’s the same for God-He knows and can see every aspect of our hearts and lives, but He wants us to share it with Him.

“BUT MS. C, If God KNOWS everything about our lives and everything I’m going to DO tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that… Then He knows everything I’m going to do or not do. He planned my sins and decisions so that’s not my problem!” Yes, this was a statement, which brings me to our Responsorial Reading from today.  Within this Scripture passage, the Word of God states that He knows us. He knows where we are currently sitting or standing as we read this email. He knows where we will stand in line at the grocery store, and where our thoughts will be as we wait in traffic. He knows sometimes we try to hide, but there is no place He cannot see. We know that He is with us in every moment, that he created our very being before we were even born. He makes us this way and He walks with us every day.

When I read this Psalm, I understand that He knows me, created me, and walks with me. Even though He is all knowing, it doesn’t take away our free will (which I’m sure most of us already know, but 6th grade had to be reminded). Even though He is all knowing- He still needs our invitation. There is a big difference between knowing about something and experiencing it with someone. Our Creator created us so lovingly that in our free will we must invite Him in. He can know all about our lives, but He will not force Himself upon us.  He waits for you to receive Him always.

Slowly read the Psalm again once more. I want you to ask yourself, “Do I invite God to these places? How can I invite Him into my lunch hour? How can I invite Him into the time of car to car traffic? God, do I try to hide from you? Why am I hiding? God, what in my heart and life do you desire to be invited into?” Let’s intentionally invite our King into this day, receiving Him with hearts wide open.

Briana is a Catholic Doctrine teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel school in Cleveland, OH. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and is excited to use these skills to bring her students closer to Christ and His Church. “My soul has been refined and I can raise my head like a flower after a storm.” -St. Therese