Last night I asked our eldest son, Elijah, the following question, “Elijah, why do you believe in God?” He responded, “Because you told me so, Papa.”
It’s amazing the brutal honesty of a child. It’s also alarming the responsibility that my wife and I have as parents – to educate and to raise our children to the reality of God’s love. According to the Catechism, through the Sacrament of Marriage, “receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing our children.”
Why am I saying all of this right now? Because, I firmly believe that how we understand and see the love of God the Father is influenced on how we received love from our earthly parents, particularly our fathers.
This is a loaded statement and this may bring some strong emotions right now.
The thing is that we can know, intellectually, that God the Father is patient, kind, loving and forgiving. We’ve heard it thousands of times before. But if we did not experience those same characteristics from our own earthly fathers, it could could be hard for us to really connect and see God the Father in this way
Jesus knew His Father and He loved Him. There was never a doubt in His mind. And the Father loved Jesus. He never stopped loving Him.
“For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does.”
And that Love that is reciprocated between the Father and the Son is so intimate and powerful that it is actually a Person – The Holy Spirit. And it is this Spirit that can change everything; He can renew us; He can make all things new. He bring us to a greater understanding of God the Father’s love no matter what our relationship was with our earthly father. It is the Holy Spirit that can heal the wounds or voids caused by our earthly fathers; and can bring us to forgive them as well.
Today’s Gospel – John 5:17-30
Jesus answered the Jews:
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.
“I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”
Here is the challenge for today:
Call your father today. Thank him for raising you. Thank him for trying his best. Tell him that you will always love him and honor him.
If you are not in a position to talk to your father or he has passed on, take a few moments to pray this prayer: