March 22, 2023 – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/032223.cfm)
Each of us has a father. Biologically, we need a father and a mother for a child is only born out of a male and female. As we grow up, we have different experiences with our parents and with our fathers especially. Not all of us have experienced a very good father who spends enough time to be with us, who will support us constantly as a child.
Some of us even may have painful memories particularly when we talk about experiences with our fathers. Others might have actually experienced being abandoned by their father that caused them pain. Others might have fathers who were always away because of work that made a deep longing of their father’s presence. Others might have experienced also with a father who was abusive and irresponsible giving them deep emotional wound.
Unconsciously, our experiences with our father has a connection on how we relate with God whom we believe as a Father to us. If we have a very good experience with our biological father, then, it might be easy for us to believe in a loving and merciful Father in heaven. However, if we have painful and traumatic experiences with our biological father then, sometimes that create doubts and hesitations to truly believe in God the Father who is loving and forgiving.
Personally, though my father was indeed responsible, he too was quite strict when I was growing up. That experience of mine was carried on as I related with God. I too believed that God was like my father who was very strict. I should always be a good boy or else I will be punished. This means that our own experiences especially our negative and painful experiences with our fathers can sometimes prevent us to recognize God’s true character as a father to us.
It is good for us, then, to reflect on the readings today as they reveal God’s true character as a parent to us.
The Book of Isaiah tells us about a God who is so passionate about us. Isaiah tells us that God is like a parent who brings comfort to us, who is there to flatten the mountains so that life won’t be too difficult for us. Isaiah uses the image of a mother who carries her baby in the womb. A mother is always connected with her baby. However, a mother may forget about her baby but God will never forget us. God remembers us because God always carries us.
This confidence to a loving and passionate God is expressed in today’s Gospel. Jesus tells us about how he loves his Father so much. Jesus shows his affection to the Father who will never leave him alone. This expression of Jesus is just a confirmation of that passion of God the Father to Jesus.
Thus, this is the invitation for us today as revealed in the scriptures. Though we might have painful experiences with our own Fathers or mothers or with those who became our parents in the absence of our biological parents, the readings call us to be confident in God as a loving parent to us.
Just like Jesus, let us take confidence in God who is both a Loving Father and Mother to us, who promised to be with us, who will never leave us and will always be there for us. This is how God is so passionate to you and to me. We may come to believe in this.
When we ourselves are parents or standing as a foster parent to a child, may our parenting be an image of God’s unconditional love to that child and to our whole family. Kabay pa.