a close call
"Come closer to me." —Genesis 45:4
The conversation between the powerful Joseph, second-in-command in all Egypt, and his estranged brothers was not going well. Joseph broke through the communication gap by setting aside his glory (cf Phil 2:7), emptying himself of his power (see Phil 2:8), and telling his brothers, "Come closer to me" (Gn 45:4).
In the Song of Songs, God likewise calls to the beloved, hidden in the rocks of the cliff, to "let Me see you" (Sg 2:14). The Lord wants to hold us close, like a father holds an infant to his cheeks (Hos 11:4), like a mother fondles her nursing infant (see 1 Thes 2:7). Like Joseph, Jesus says to each one of us, "Come to Me" (Mt 11:28). He assures us that He is gentle and humble of heart so that we might not be afraid to come closer to Him (Mt 11:29).
Let us implore the Lord by saying to Him: "Draw me!" (Sg 1:4) Jesus is Emmanuel, God-with-us (Mt 1:23). He dwells among us (Jn 1:14). All of Scripture and Divine Revelation show a God Who greatly desires (see Lk 22:15) to be close to us. He's not pleased when we draw back from Him (see Heb 10:38). At Jesus' death on the cross, God Himself tore open the veil in the sanctuary (Mt 27:51), which had separated the people from the presence of God. God now comes so close to us that He even enters into our bodies in the Holy Eucharist! Therefore, any lack of closeness is on our part, not His. The Lord God says: "Come closer to Me!" (Gn 45:4) How will you respond?
Prayer: Jesus, nothing can separate me from Your love (Rm 8:39) except my own free choice. Nail me to Your cross with You so that I will never leave Your side.
Promise: "The reign of God is at hand!" —Mt 10:7
Praise: St. Henry learned the value of a close relationship with the Lord from St. Wolfgang.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 22, 2017
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