19. ONLY ONE IS YOUR FATHER. He addresses us his word

Created: Sunday, 25 August 2013 Last Updated: Monday, 31 March 2014

19. ONLY ONE IS YOUR FATHER
He addresses us his word


1. -      The father’s figure evokes life’s origin and source, confidence and support, benevolence and tenderness, safety and care, wisdom and counsel, orientating guide, a model to follow. Even being evil, the fathers know how to give good things to their children (Lk 11,13). But, in our times, the psychoanalysis, the Marxism, and the existentialism have impregnated the contemporary society with their analysis and fatherhood appears like synonymous of regressive and childish illusion, of a non-solved complex of imaginary faults, of alienation, that takes dignity out of man and converts him in a mild instrument of his terrain masters; it suggests a servile dependence, coward submission, fear to freedom, blind obedience, dreadful authority. In this context, can we really call Father to God?, how?, in which sense?.
2. -      Almost in every religion we attribute fatherhood to the divinity, but this remains in the vaguely religious stage. “No one has ever seen God”. (Jn 1,18). In the world of the philosophy God’s idea is not even established; besides this, alarm lights are switched on: illusion – fault – alienation – slavery. In ordinary life God’s reality like father is very little experienced, although in principle is given like truth (Jn 8,41). In the Bible is God who calls himself father more than any one else. When he talks, he acts, and when he acts, he talks: he is with us (Ex 3.15) and reveals the sense of history and of creation. In a special way, in the Gospel, God alive appears in a dialogue with man, he addresses us his word, he treats us like his children (Jn 1,11; see Gn 3, 8-9), he manifests himself to his disciples: “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise you, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned people and revealed them to the little (Mt 11,25).
3.- Genesis chapter 22 narrates the most painful time in Abraham’s life. While involved in the test obscurity, he perhaps has the sensation of finding himself absolutely alone. But in the hardest instant the Lord’s angel calls him, liberating him of such a terrible test. And Abraham calls that place “the Lord provides” (Gn 22,14). He makes himself conscious that he is under God’s watch and providence. It is God who is looking to us, who is taking care of us. We can not see most things existing in the world, since they are very far to be able to reach them with our eye. And there are things so small that we cannot perceive them. God sees every thing. His regard penetrates the warp, the man’s heart. He distinguishes the authentic from the false; the expression from the thinking, the mask from the original. For Him the roots, the bottom, the origin are evident.
4. -  Providence is a reality that we can live. We receive some news: things have happened in this and that way. Around us a circle is forming, a block of things, of facts, of exigencies. And this entire circle is looking at us. But, is it something or is it Somebody?. Let you wake up your deepest comprehension!. It is Him!. You only have to keep yourself awake and alert, and someday he will show himself to you, and you will feel guided by his Word. You will then go into that reality, like into an alive and active being: “Providence is not an already made machine that simply works, but it is accomplishing and realising, with a novelty that springs from the divine’s freedom and also from our insignificant human freedom. And not everywhere, but even here. And not in a general way, but now. Providence is the mystery of the living God, and the more you are immerse in it, the more you will notice it, like a living being. You will notice when you do not allow it to pass away, and when you take part in it. It is calling you. God is calling you to take part in his work performance, foreseen from all the eternity. Your conscience must understand what is up in this moment. Your own freedom must convert it into reality. You must place yourself like a living man in the middle of God’s living activity” (R. Guardini).
5. -      Israel experiments in its history God’s tender action. In the exodus, God shields them, supports them cares for them like the apple of their eyes (Dt 32,10). Hosea recalls and proclaims his immense tenderness: “I loved Israel when he was a child;  …. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them in my arms; yet little did they realize that it was I who care for them. (Hos 11,1-3). Isaiah compares Lord’s love with a mother’s love: “Can a woman forget the baby at her breast? ... Though she may forget, I will not forget you” (Is 49,15). God is love: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him” (Ps 103,13). That love is in the own being’s origin: “It was you who formed my inmost part” (Ps 139,13). The believer lives with infancy’s spirit: “like a weaned child on its mother’s lap” (Ps 131,2); with confidence: under his divine wings (Ps 91). And he is invited to invoke him: “You are my Father” (Ps 89,27). To place his own destiny in his hands: “Into your hands I commend my spirit” (Ps 31,6).

6. -      Only Jesus reveals us who is really God: “No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11,27). It is a vital acquaintance. Every event of his life opens up the true God’s face. Jesus founds his mission in his Father decisions, that he gradually manifests to him: “My food is to do the will of the One who sent me” (Jn 4,34). That who is son of God listens Jesus word (Jn 8, 42-43). In a special way, He is “the son” (Lk 3,22; Ps 2,7; Mt 21,17). He invites us to accept like children, God’s plan (Mk 10,15), a plan prepared from ever and progressively manifested in history. Really, “we know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom 8,28).
7. -      Jesus invites us to confide in the Father and not to be slaves of worries about food or dress: “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God and all these things will also be given to you” (Mt 6, 32-33). Nevertheless, the man needs the Spirit’s strength to live before God the Father with a son’s heart: “And because you are sons God has sent into your heart the Spirit of his sons which cries out: Abba!”. (Gal 4,6; see Rom 8, 14-16). With the Spirit’s strength, hope in God maintains firm before the death’s fact: “In my Father’s house there are many rooms” (Jn 14,2; see Heb 2,15).
8. -      To live with confidence in God as father it is not possible if we don’t live fraternally with the rest of the men (Is 58, 9-10). If God is our father, then the world is the home of everybody and we all are brothers, even the enemies: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust” (Mt 5, 44-45).
9. - Jesus manifests God´s heart in an incomparable way in the prodigal son parable. (Lk 15,11-32). The main figure is really the father.  God appears as a light that lightens, as a compass orienting the man in his options, who does not leave him in the dangerous practice of his freedom and that creates new liberation perspectives, renewing the episodes that were or looked like disastrous. God’s fatherhood is neither oppressive nor reduces the man to passivity, to a childish dependency,  to the abrogation of his own personality. According to the Gospel, it helps us to be more responsible, more free and more conscious.
10. -    God’s revelation like father is in the centre of Jesus message. Denouncing to scribes and Pharisees like false fathers, Jesus exhorts us to avoid calling father to anyone in the earth: “You have only one Father, he who is in Heaven.” (Mt 23,9). He invites us to call him father, to ask him to manifest his action and his presence, that his name be known and respected, that his kingdom come, that his will be accomplished: “our Father of Heaven, holy be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven” (Mt 6,9-10). Jesus teaches us that the man can always turn to the father, such as he is in the deepest of his life and with what he needs more: “Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are in debt to us. Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from the Evil One”. (Mt 6,11-13).
Dialogue: About what seems most important to us.