Sunday, December 28, 2014

In the Name… of the Father

December 28, 2014
Feast of the Holy Family
Click here for the complete text of today’s readings.

Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!

When Jesus was walking around Galilee, his disciples related to him as teacher and Messiah. When I was younger, I related to him as Savior. The relationship was more professional than personal: I wanted Jesus to save and protect me. I had no real relationship with the Father; not as Father.

I didn’t interact with God as father. The Father was not a father to me. He was Creator, Lawgiver, Judge, Punisher; someone to be obeyed and feared. But for anything I needed—including things one would normally look to a parent for—I went to Jesus. Or to Mary.

Until one day I asked myself, “Who was the Father for Jesus?” It was like scales falling from my eyes. I realized Jesus had no fear of the Father. The Father was not a threat to him. The Father was his support; the only one, really, who understood him (although Mary came close). Jesus looked to the Father for all his needs. And Jesus lived to serve the Father. Love for the Father filled his life. It was like a cloud he walked around in.

Then I noticed how much he spoke about the Father to his disciples. I wondered if they did.

I have come in my Father’s name… It is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven… Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother… If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me…

No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son…  If you know me, you will know my Father also… Whoever has seen me has seen the Father… Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?...

For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven… The word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me… No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower… Those who love me will be loved by my Father… They will keep my word, and my Father will love them… As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love… I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father…

He threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me… Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?... I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom... I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God… I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever… The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you… As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

That is just a sample. Jesus lived and breathed the Father. And we should also, by living and breathing Jesus. Jesus has drawn us into the relationship—that is, the eternal, divine interaction—of the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus prayed that we might “all be one: as you, Father, are in me and I am in you”—in the oneness of the Trinity, sharing one and the same divine life, distinguished from each other as persons by the relationships we have with each other through the multiple ways of interacting conferred by the “charisms” or “gifts” of the Holy Spirit (see 1Corinthians, chapter 12).

Something to think about until we explain it more.

“Jesus! Thank you for my family.”

Feel secure in your family relationship with God and all who know him.

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