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God, Our Loving Father

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.  As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”  So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. — Galatians 4:4-7

The Bible tells us that we are God’s children thanks to the work of Christ, who redeemed us and took away our sins. Through His redemptive act, and the Holy Spirit working in us, we are no longer alienated from Our Father because of our spiritual depravity. We are given new life as children in God’s family.  But what does it mean to have God as our Father? How can we have a relationship with the infinite, immortal being who created us and the entire universe in which we exist?

5th Luminous-Institution of the Eucharist
A mosaic form the Rosary Garden depicts Jesus with His disciples at the Last Supper

We Can Talk to Our Father

Though God is an omnipotent and omniscient being, He desires to have a relationship with us as His children. He cares for each of us and wants us to commune with Him. Jesus demonstrated to the disciples that the faithful can pray to God and instructed them how.

He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come.
     Give us each day our daily bread
     and forgive us our sins
    for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
    and do not subject us to the final test.”
 — Luke 11:2-4

While we do not always have to pray the Lord’s Prayer, it provides a good guide for us as we pray to our heavenly Father. We bring Him praise, look to the coming of His kingdom, and ask for forgiveness, provision of our physical needs, and strength as we face the temptations of the world.

Our Father Listens

Not only are we blessed with the ability to talk directly to God, but we are given assurance that He listens.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears turned to their prayer… — 1 Peter 3:12 

God actively watches over His children. He looks out for us and directs us in accordance with His divine plan.

Our Father Gives Good Gifts to His Children

Though this life is not free of trials, the Bible tells us that Our Father gives good gifts to those who ask. As our loving and nurturing Father, He desires the best for us as we grow spiritually.

Detail of God the Father in the Rosary Garden mosaics

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Luke 11:9-13

As this passage above also shows, God is not a fickle or imperfect father. Even the best earthly father, who knows how to rightly treat his children, cannot in any way compare to our perfect Father in heaven.

The Rock—how faultless are his deeds,
    how right all his ways!
A faithful God, without deceit,
    just and upright is he! — Deuteronomy 32:4

The Parable of the Prodigal Son
May as the Month of Mary: A Reflection from Monsignor Vito Buonanno