My Dearest Brothers and Sisters, my Friends.
Today we continue to look at the Truths of our Faith – we consider the THIRD MYSTERY of FAITH: One God in Three Persons: God our Father
In many religions of the world, God has been called the Father. Man transferred the concept of father to God based on an analogy taken from his own life. He did it for two reasons. First, because God is the giver of life and the father is the giver of life, and secondly: God, like the father, rules the human family. With this approach to God as the Father, we meet, among others, in the Old Testament, in which God is called the Father of orphans.
The Christian approach to God as a father allows us to discover the truth that God is truly a Father because He has an Only Begotten Son. He who has a son is a father. There is no transfer of the word ‘father’ from our dictionary to God. It is just the opposite. Before the world came into existence, God was already a Father. After all, He grants His paternal authority to every father on earth. In the Christian religion, we discover that God is the first Father and that he is the model for all fathers on earth. The fact that we can call someone father is made on the basis of his likeness to God. This is the great responsibility of the earthly father who, in His child, shapes the concept of fatherhood and is the first image of God the Father who is in Heaven.
At the outset, I would like to point out two errors that distorted the gospel teaching in the approach to God’s fatherhood. The first is to treat God as one person who manifests in different forms. So the same God once appears as a Father, once as a Son, another time as the Holy Spirit. Then the word “Father” would be just one of the names given to God. Already at the very beginning of Christianity, especially in Jewish environments that could not believe that One God is in the Three Persons of God, this interpretation was created. According to them, there is one God and there is nothing to bother about whether it is the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit – these are just different names of the same God. This error was condemned already at the beginning of the third century.
The second misinterpretation of God’s fatherhood: It was claimed that the Father is greater than the Son. This is the transfer of the relationship from our human approach to God. Since the Son is begotten by the Father, it means that the Father is greater than Him. Most often it was said that there are two gods: the greater – the Father, and the smaller, – Son. But if someone says so, then the smaller one can no longer be called a real God. Over the centuries, thousands and even millions of people have wandered around the world with such an interpretation, and the Church had to fight this for a long time.
Truth is included in the teaching of the Holy Church. God the Father is equal to the Son and the Holy Spirit. Someone will say that this is a theoretical reflection; why wonder about it? If this were the case, Christ would not reveal the name of the Father to us, He would not speak about the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Knowledge of this truth is needed for two reasons. First, man was created in the image and likeness of God and the better he knows the mystery of God, the more he discovers his own dignity. Secondly, the Son of God, becoming a human, decided to help us in establishing contact with the Father. We are created in the image and likeness of God, that is, our heart is shaped so that it wants to love God as his Father.
Perhaps a specific story will bring this truth closer. A five-year-old child lost her father and mother, and lived as an orphan with her aunt. This five-year-old girl was experiencing a deep drama. All the children spoke to someone ‘mummy’, and she did not have anyone to address her words to. It seemed to her that if she could tell someone, that would be enough for her happiness. The child wondered for a long time whether she could say ‘mummy’ to her aunt. After a long hesitation, she came to her when her aunt took the bread out of the oven and, asking for something, addressed her with this amazing word: ‘Mummy’. Almost simultaneously, her cousin, standing behind her, began to laugh at her, shouting, “You do not have a mummy, this is my mummy.” The aunt looked at her niece eloquently, but she could not afford to embrace her as hers. In the heart of a five-year-old child, however, the laughter of her cousin perpetuated forever and left her with a bleeding wound for the rest of her life. This child has never said “mummy” to anyone, because she has always been treated like an orphan. This girl knew that with this stigma of orphan-hood she had to go through life and that was her greatest misfortune, and she had even had it on her deathbed, when I came to her with Christ’s sacraments.
Well, the heart of man has been shaped in such a way that he desires the Almighty, infinitely wise, good, merciful, just, holy God named with the word ‘Dad’. This is the very essence of our resemblance to God. For He created our heart in the image of the heart of His Son. And here comes the Son of God and He becomes one of us not to, like this cousin, laugh at us and tell us: ‘You do not have Daddy, this is my Father’, but to make us call, when speaking to God – Dad, Father. It is thanks to His call that we dare to say ‘Our Father’. The Son of God wants that bond of love between us and God be re-established in our hearts. Maybe on the basis of this example of an orphan we can understand why the reflection on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity is so important. In fact, after today’s thought, a cycle of reflections would be needed in which I would explain precisely the Lord’s Prayer “Our Father”. For Christ, teaching us prayer, teaches us a reference to God on the plane of a child and the Father.
In the ‘Our Father’ prayer the Aramaic word ‘Abba‘ is used, taken out of the child’s dictionary, which turns to the Father affectionately with ‘Daddy’.Only before God the Father can a man find himself, identify himself. If this reference is not present, God will always scare us, He will always be threatening to us. Great and wonderful is God our Father, our Daddy, He is a father because he has an only-begotten Son. If we can consider all of the truths of faith, we can fully understand that Christianity is an extremely beautiful religion, a journey and a reality that can fascinate people.
With love, friendship and prayers – Fr Marcin