No.43 Love of the Father
At Pentecost 2012, God gave us the special gift of a Year of Grace, through His Holiness the Pope. A gift given at a time when the world is in crisis, when religious faith is in crisis, when the Church is in crisis. When prophets of gloom and doom thrive, and our props keep crumbling. In the face of all should we not say, ‘Thanks be to God!’ For, were we to stop and listen, we’d hear the Lord: Do not be afraid. I am with you. Always. My Covenant is forever. The powers of darkness and the gates of hell shall not prevail. All is grace. So, awake from your slumber. But no longer make believe that all is well and automatically will be well. Now is the time for humble, peaceful, trustful reflection and prayer. And renewal. Not frenetic activity and noise. So, turn to Me more completely than ever before.
Psalm 18. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted it gives wisdom to the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes. The decrees of the Lord are truth, and all of them just. They are more to be desired than gold… and sweeter they are than honey. In them your servant finds instruction But who can detect all his errors? From hidden faults acquit me. From presumption restrain your servant, and let it not rule me. Then I shall be blameless, clean from grave sin.’
Basis of Renewal God the Father is the source of our Trinitarian faith. He is the Creator of the universe and of all that exists. Who has raised us out of nothingness, and Who supports and guides us. It is the Father whose Voice and Word the Son is. It was because of the Father’s will that the Word became flesh. The Father’s will is Jesus’ mission. And the Father asks us to listen to the voice of Jesus. And follow him. In order to respond to the crises that beset the world, beset the Church, and to start afresh, is it not essential that we seek and obey the Father’s voice or no one else’s. Not that of an expert, a guru, a philosopher, a political leader, a power broker, a so-called reformer or any other usurper. For any reform and renewal to be authentic it must be rooted in the Father’s will revealed through Jesus and His Church. We must begin with the Father. We then find out that Christ Jesus is indispensible. And Jesus has given us the Church, which becomes indispensible also.. And the Church in turn must undergo continual purification in the name of the Lord.
The Father First On May 23, this year, Pope Benedict said, at his weekly audience, “Maybe people today do not understand the beauty, greatness and deep consolation that comes from recognizing God as father, because the paternal figure is not sufficiently present today….. Christianity is not a religion of fear, but of trust and love for the Father who loves us.” .
Simple Words of Love We all need to welcome our Father’s love, for it for every one of us, regardless of our spiritual standing, as you may see in the Bible-based sentiments that now follow (patterned on quotations of from the Bible, tweaked by a Canadian Pastor, and edited by the present writer).
My Child, You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Ps.138.1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Ps.138.2) I am familiar with all your ways (Ps.138.2) For you were made in My image (Gen.1:27) In Me, you live and move and have your being (Acts.17:28) For you are My offspring (Acts.17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived (Jer. 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation (Eph. 1:11-12) You were not an accident or mistake, for all your days are written in My book (Ps.138: 15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts.17-26) You are wonderfully made (Ps.138:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps.138: 13) And brought you forth on the day you were born (Ps.70:6).
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know Me (Jn 8.41-44) I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1Jn 4:16) It is My desire to lavish My love on you. (1Jn 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1Jn.3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Mt. 7:11) For I am the perfect Father (Mt 5:48) Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand.(James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Mt. 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jer. 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3) My thoughts towards you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Ps. 138:17-18) I rejoice over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17 and will never stop doing good to you (Jer. 32:40) For you are My treasured possession (Ex. 19:5) And I want to show you great and marvellous things (Jer.33:3)
If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me (Deut. 4:29) Delight in Me and I will give you your heartís desire.(Ps. 36:4) For it is I who gave you desires for goodness (Phil.2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly ask or imagine (Eph.3:20) For I am your greatest encourager (2Thess. 2:16-17) I am also the gentle Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2Cor.1:3-4) When you are broken-hearted, I am close to you (Ps.33:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Is. 40:11) One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Rev.21: 3-4) And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Rev.21:3-4)
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My Son, Jesus (Jn 17:26) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (Jn 17:26) He is the exact representation of My being (Heb. 1:3) He came to make you realise that I am for you, not against you (Rom.8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2Cor. 5:18-19) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2Cor. 5:18-19) His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you (1Jn 4:10) I gave up everything that I loved that I might gain your love (Rom. 8:31-32)
If you receive the gift of My Son, Jesus, you receive Me (1Jn 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from My love again (1Jn 2:24-25) Come home and there will be untold celebration (Luke 15:6) I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Eph 3:14-15) I am waiting for you. (Luke 15: 11-32) And to give you life in its fullness (John 10:10) A share in My own Divine life, rich and satisfying beyond compare (1Jn 1:3) Where your joy will be complete (1Jn 1:4).
And so I ask you, Will you accept Me and be My child? (Jn 1:12-13)
Prayer Here I am, with all my heart. Help me, my Lord and my God.