Our Father – Thursday of Week 11 of Ordinary time.
And what a chilly morning it is too! Mind you, having stood guard duty at midnight during July in Kimberly while doing military service, this is very tolerable. Nevertheless, please wrap up and stay warm. But it is when we experience physical discomfort that we should also be mindful of our spiritual discomfort. In the Gospel reading of today from Matthew Chapter 6, we find an opportunity in the Lord’s Prayer to encounter the compassion and warmth of The Father.
There is so much richness in this prayer but, with Father’s Day approaching on Sunday, I would just like to address the first two words: “Our Father”.
In using the collective term “Our”, Jesus invites us to share together and as individuals in the relationship that he has with his father. The Father is often seen as the senior partner of the Holy Trinity – the CEO. But, as we saw in the recent solemnity or the Holy Trinity, all three aspects of God are ONE, not separate. God the Father is perhaps seen as the elder because, firstly, he has the name “Father” and secondly, because he is seen as the creator and therefore, according to our historical logic, has been around for longer! But these are probably more the limitations that our human understanding puts on God rather than our spiritual communion with Him.
The Father was present with Christ at the creation; at the nativity; at his ministry; at his suffering and death; and at his resurrection. The intimacy that Christ has with the Father is generously shared with us as he calls God “Father” or “Abba” which loosely translated means “Daddy”. But let us not be fooled – the Father is a firm but fair God. There are rules which must be followed but there is great love that goes with them.
And so we consider the role of fathers today. Hopefully we have moved past the time when some fathers thought that their parental responsibility ceased at conception! Dads today seem to be more involved in the lives of their children. As the words that are used at Baptism say, “Parents, you will be the first teachers of your child in the ways of faith. May you also be the best of teachers.” It is very gratifying to see young families with both parents attending Mass together (when it is available). Children are great imitators – regardless of what we tell them. Good fathers are those who give the best example, especially in the ways of the faith. The importance of paternal responsibility should never be under-rated.
In closing, just a reminder that Fr James is available for anyone who wishes to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance (Confession). Please phone the office and make an appointment with him privately. Parish Office number: 031-5647587
Fr James would like to sincerely thank the donors who have paid off the R120 000 for the organ. The Mass on Sunday will be offered for their intentions.
God Bless and stay safe. Dc Mike & the team.