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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

I Will Go To My Father

by Fr. David M. Knight

 

Lent is a time for metanoia. The word it is translated “repent,” but it really means to change your mind about everything.” So I am suggesting we spend it changing some of our ideas about God the Father.


The truth is, when growing up, I personally did not feel close to the Father. For me, the Father was an authority figure. And like many of my generation, I was afraid of him.

 

I dealt with Jesus.  And later, as a priest, I preached Jesus. I did know that to know and love Jesus is to know and love the Father. But I didn’t experience it that way.

 

I had been a priest for several years before the scales finally fell from my eyes. It happened when one day I asked myself how Jesus related to the Father. Jesus had no fear of the Father; just appreciation and love. So I asked myself what Jesus appreciated in the Father. What was the Father for him? What did the Father do for him?

 

The reflections that follow try to answer those questions. Why is that important? It is because every time we say the Our Father, Jesus calls us to it.

 

We know Jesus did not give us the Our Father as a formula to be memorized, because the wording is different in Matthew (6:9) and Luke (11:2). Rather, it is a list of priorities; his priorities; the things Jesus came to earth to live and die for. And his first priority was, “Father! Hallowed be your name!”

 

Every time I said this prayer I used to feel guilty. What was I doing to make the Father known and loved?

 

If you don’t feel you are making the Father known to everyone around you, Lent is a time for metanoia.  No less an authority than the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome said that metanoia

 

in its precisely Christian meaning, signifies a change in thinking and in acting, as the expression of the new life “in Christ” proclaimed by faith: a continuous reform of thought and deeds directed at an ever more intense identification with Christ, to which the baptized are called before all else (see Galatians 2:20: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”). This is, in the first place, the meaning of the call made by Jesus himself: “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15; Matthew 4:17)… (On Some Aspects Of Evangelization, 3 December 2007).

 

Lent is a good time to say with the Prodigal Son, “I will go to my father!” Each of the reflections we will post in the next 40 days is a step along that way.


Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry




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