Sunday, May 28, 2006

Jesus and His Father


Jesus, your relationship with your Father amazes and impresses me. You constantly refer people to Him. You won’t take any glory apart from Him. You receive all your power from Him, and all your instructions. All you want to do is please Him. He gives you tasks to do and you are completely obedient.

Was St. Joseph a good model father to you? He heard a message from God that changed his life. “Take Mary as your wife.” Joseph responded without hesitation to God’s word and surrendered His will. He was completely obedient and submissive. There isn’t much else we know about Joseph so that must be the lesson we’re to learn from him just like Jesus did. “Pray to God, your Father. Listen to His instructions for you and then obey them. Whatever God asks, you must obey. It is the least you can do. And you must follow God’s instructions above and beyond your own desires.” I can just hear Joseph saying that to his son as they wait for the dinner Mary prepared. “Do you hear me, son? This is important. Obey God above all else.” Jesus, you must have thought this was a very important message because Joseph didn’t usually speak this forcefully. And so it became a memory from your childhood that would never fade. It was a vivid memory with a very clear message. I’m sure you didn’t even understand the message at first. It must have become clearer to you as you watched your parents live their lives. They both spoke the same message of surrender and submission to God’s will by the way they chose to live.

It all began there with a very humble man and a very prayerful young woman. From them you learned whom God is and how to relate to Him. That’s where your desire to please Him began. That was the beginning of a relationship that can’t be duplicated. You read the Scriptures like all young Jewish boys. You learned about Adam and Eve and Moses and Noah. You saw how God worked through these people and events. You saw that God continuously chose to forgive us and love again. You saw the great plans God has for His people. And your relationship grew. You wanted to know more about Him. You wanted to speak to Him, listen to Him and understand Him. So you spent more time with Him. That’s when it became a Sacred Event. Your relationship with God the Father began and with it the growing knowledge that you were Chosen. You and God enjoyed a very intimate relationship. All you wanted to do was to please Him and so that was what you did. I feel like I’m interfering here – intruding. I have no right to the details. I am not worthy of that knowledge. I can only imagine how you felt when you realized your life’s mission fully. I can’t begin to grasp the love you know God has for us that made you submit to crucifixion. It was a love so deep and so pure that you never questioned the mission. In fact, that love became yours. You spent so much time with God your Father that you loved with His love. I don’t claim to understand the mystery of your being fully human and fully divine, but I don’t need to understand it when I can feel it. I don’t’ know how you can be Jesus, the Lord and Savior when you were born in a manger and lived with your mother and foster father. It’s beyond my scope. But I believe it and I love you for it. I believe it and I thank you for it. I believe it and I praise and worship you for it! And it all remains a mystery, a precious and Sacred mystery. Your relationship with your Father is that you and He are One.

But there’s another mystery, another very precious gift here. You taught us to pray by saying Our Father. I am silenced. I am awestruck and humbled. I run to you to say, “O no! I am not worthy. I am a sinner in need of repentance.” You answer, “You are a sinner in need of a Father.” “Well that may be true,” I answer, “ but YOUR Father?” You say, “No, OUR Father”. All my protestations fly in the wind. They are useless bantering like so many other words I’ve said. “The point remains”, You insist. “He is OUR Father.”

That means the relationship you have with God the Father is one I can strive for. It means that You are my Brother. It also means I am chosen and we are members of one family.

Dear friends, do you hear what Jesus is saying to us? If God is our Father, you and I have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Doesn’t that make you feel special? We also have a Protector, one who can truly save us from any adversary (including ourselves). God is our Father. Having the All Perfect Father means He knows our souls, our dreams, fears and hopes. He knows our talents and gifts. He knows our thought ant the number of hairs on our head. He can challenge us because that’s what a good father does. He can encourage us to be the persons we can be because He knows us so well. He cleans up after our mistakes and clears the path for us to go forward. God is in constant contact with us because we cannot leave His presence. That means He supports us, encourages us and forgives us all the time though we may no recognize or admit His presence.

So if God does all that because He is our Father, what is our role as His child? We can take our cue from Jesus for that. As I said in the opening sentences, Jesus gave all the glory to His Father. He wouldn’t take any glory for His won. He recognized He had no power apart form the Father. Jesus only wanted to please His Father and follow His instructions. Jesus and Our Father spent so much time together that Jesus felt the love God has for His children. Jesus felt it so much that He was willing to die for it.

So that is the example our brother Jesus left us. Love God back. Follow His instructions. Spend time with your Sacred family and be a good child to the Father. Your Holy Mother will help you and so will your Brother, Jesus. Make your Father proud. If you enter into the relationship with God our Father more fully, He’ll be sure to teach you how. Remember, you’re constantly in His presence and He promised He’d never abandon us. He may ask us to do some hard things, just like He asked Jesus. But just like Jesus He’ll love us through it and give us all the strength we need. And I can guarantee you this, too: when its all over, Our Father will be waiting for us on the other side and He’ll com running to welcome us home.

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