Monday, April 27, 2015

4th Sunday of Easter April 26, 2015

Did you know that according to the on-line Yellow Pages that there are 30 results for Paternity Testing in the Austin area?  30 places locally to find out ‘Who is Your Daddy?’  Now I have not had occasion to avail myself of any of these services recently, but from looking at a few of the websites it seems that for about $250 to $300 you can check on the paternity of your child, or of yourself, or just about anyone.  And it is a good thing to know who is your biological father; for issues about health matters, genetics, inheritance issues, child support, and other areas.  It is good to know “who is your daddy.” 
          On the spiritual level, this question is even more important.  Vastly more important in fact.  And today’s second reading addresses the issue. 
          St. John tells us:  “Beloved:”   Now when St. John calls us “Beloved”, it certainly means that we are beloved of God Almighty, and also that St. John loves all of us as well, but it also is St. John’s short-hand way of saying:  “SIT UP and PAY ATTENTION ‘cause I am about to tell you something IMPORTANT!”. 
          So he says: “Beloved:  See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called children of God.  Yet so we are.”  ¿Who is your Daddy?  God is your Father.  God is MY Father.  For all us together, God is our Father.  That is a wonderful, special, and fantastic reality.  We are not out in the universe all alone, unconnected, disinherited, nameless.  We have family connections on the cosmic level.  God is our Father.  And that is a very great thing.  We are children of God.
          Now, there are times when frankly I don’t much look like a child of God.  And there are times when I don’t feel like a child of God.  And unfortunately there are way too many times when I don’t act like a child of God.   So when I do think about these things I usually end up hoping that someday I will have my act together and I will finally become a true child of God. 
          But that way of thinking is wrong.  Because in today’s second reading St. John tells us:  “Beloved” – oh, there that word is again, calling us to attention – “Beloved, we are God’s children NOW;”  This is not something we hope to achieve in the future, it is a present reality.  Because, it doesn’t depend upon me.  This is all God’s doing.  Not ours. 
          Just like you did not choose your physical parents, and it was in no way your doing who your physical parents are, so it is in no way your doing that God is your Father.  “Beloved, we are God’s children NOW;”  
We may be disobedient children.  We may be a big disappointment to our Heavenly Father as children sometimes are.  We may not appreciate our spiritual inheritance, but still, “Beloved, we are God’s children NOW;” 
          But there is more.  St. John goes on, “What we shall be has not yet been revealed.”  Oh my.  Do you like surprises?   I hope so, because if St. John is right, we are all in for a BIG surprise!  We are destined to become something beyond our wildest dreams, beyond what we can imagine or even hope for. Sounds pretty exciting to me!
          We have some clues though.  St. John tells us:  “We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”    We shall be like him, like Father like son, or like daughter.  We will have a very clear and distinctive family resemblance to God.  What will that be?  Will we be all powerful, almighty, invincible, all-knowing and all seeing, everywhere and infinite?  Well, no.  Rather, we will be like God in the way Jesus was able to fully be God and still be weak, vulnerable, limited, human.  And that way is to be full of love.  Because God, as St. John tell us, IS love. 
          So when we see God as He is, in what is called the Beatific Vision, we will be like God in that we will be filled entirely and completely with love. Nothing but love.  No bitterness, no fear, no recriminations, no regrets, no anxiety nor worry, no hatred nor envy nor revenge, no greed, no lust, no laziness, no indifference, no spite, not even any impatience!  Nothing but love, love, love. 
And it will be wonderful!  LOVE is all we will be filled with, because we shall be like Our loving Father.  We shall see – that is we will truly know and understand – God as He is. 

          Who is your Daddy?  St. John today gives us the answer:  “Beloved:  See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called children of God.  Yet so we are.”    Amen.

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