Monday, June 18, 2012

Devotion for today: Don’t worry; your Father will take care of everything…

Now that the secular celebration of Father’s Day is over, let’s contemplate the Biblical approach.

Scripture for meditation: Matthew 10: 29-31
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Scripture for reflection: Jeremiah 20:10-13
For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! "Denounce him! Let us denounce him!" say all my familiar friends, watching for my fall. "Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him, and take our revenge on him." But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. O LORD of hosts, who tries the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see thy vengeance upon them, for to thee have I committed my cause. Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.

Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio tells us: Father’s Day invites us to ask a very important question – what does it mean to call God “Father?” To call God “Father” does not mean to say, of course, that he is an old man with a white beard. Only the second person of the Blessed Trinity wedded himself to a male human nature in the womb of Mary. The Father and the Holy Spirit are pure Spirit and transcend male and female, masculine and feminine (CCC 239). This is no new insight brought to Christianity by the feminist movement. It has always been taught that the word “Father”, applied to God, is used by way of analogy. Analogies tell us something very true despite being imperfect. Until recently, the father was recognized by Western society as origin, head and provider of the family. To call the first person of the Trinity “Father” means that he is the origin and transcendent authority of all and cares for the needs of all. But we all instinctively know that a father who just pays the bills and barks orders is not enough. We expect a dad to have an intimate, affectionate relationship with his children, to spend “quality time” with them. To call God “Father” means, then, that he is near to us, intimately concerned with us, fond of us, even crazy about us. He is not the distant, clockmaker God of Thomas Jefferson and the Deists. This aloof God of the philosophers created the world to run by virtue of its own natural laws so that he could withdraw and occupy himself with more interesting pursuits. No, the God whom Jesus calls Father cares about us and knows us intimately…. He loves us more than we love ourselves and knows us better than we know ourselves... evil is still at large in the world, and evil brings trials and tribulations. Our Father will not shelter us from these anymore than He sheltered Jeremiah or Jesus. A good father doesn’t protect his children forever from the harsh realities of life, but helps them as they progress through various stages of development to face the challenges and grow through the difficulties. Scripture says that even Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered (Heb 5:8-9). How much more do we need to learn and mature, and some learning can only take place through suffering. So as a true Father, he loves us too much to take us out of the fray. But there’s one thing we can be sure of--He’ll never leave us to fight our battles alone. (

Prayer: God our Father,
in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. (The Book of Blessings)

My thoughts: I love the idea that God is “crazy about us.” We tend to think of God as being too busy or too stern to be crazy about us; but that is not the case! A good father loves his children enough to meet their needs, protect them from harm, and teach them to lead good lives. Then he takes the time to enjoy and love them as though they were the only children on earth. Well, isn’t that exactly what God does for us? When we are discouraged by the world today, let us run to our Father, as Jeremiah did. When we feel lost or abandoned, let us remember what Christ tells us, that God knows how many hairs are on our heads! That is not abandonment! That is a Father who knows His children. Life isn’t easy. Sometimes we have to wait a long time for the answer to our prayers, and sometimes we have to suffer the punishment that comes with our actions. But isn’t that, too, what a good Father does for his children? Stay close to God in these troubling times, reform your lives to follow the rules your Father set for you, leave your pride at the door and tell your Father you are sorry for your sins, and then love Him with all your heart. That is how much He loves you.


No comments: