View all Gospel Reflections |
Knowing Our Father
Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, much is hidden from me that I do not understand about how you want me to live. You say your Father is my Father and I want to believe this is true, but so often I feel like an orphan. Lord Jesus, I need your help. Come and rescue me from my confusion.
- Children of the Father: Jesus came to bring salvation to all people through his life, death, and Resurrection, but a very significant part of his mission was to reveal that we are children of God the Father. The Jews believed that there had been no prophecy in Israel since the last of the Old Testament prophets, Malachi, and so the coming of a new prophet was eagerly anticipated. Jesus revealed here that he is more than a prophet—he comes as our brother. He comes not just to save our soul from damnation but to make his Father’s home in each of us here and now. Let us make this prayer of our Savior and Brother Jesus our own: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, for although you have hidden things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to me, your child.”
- The Childlike: Being childlike is not the same as being childish. To be childish means to be immature, irresponsible, foolish, frivolous, and silly. Whether young or old, to be childlike is a desirable quality. The childlike are trusting, dependent, and loving. With regard to our earthly parents, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Respect for parents (filial piety) derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. ‘With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?’” (CCC 2215). If we owe our parents this love and respect, how much more is due to our eternal Father, source of all life?
- Jesus, Our Brother: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Jesus reveals the Father to us through the life of the Church. We become son or daughter of the Father by full participation in the sacraments of the Church, “[…] by which divine life is dispensed to us” (CCC 1131). The sacraments and the teachings of Mother Church, like every good parent, raise us to be children who, in imitation of our brother Jesus, “grow in stature, wisdom, and grace.”
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, you amaze me with your abundant love for the Father which you have shared with me. I want to be a childlike daughter of the Father with, in, and through you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will seek fuller participation in the life of the Church by actively studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
For Further Reflection: The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church, USCCB.org.
Nan Balfour is an events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic Evangelization Ministry that answers Christ’s call by guiding people to encounter him so as to live in hope as pilgrims in daily life. She is also a mother, writer, and speaker on Catholic topics.