Have we ever struggled with falling in love with God, the Father? Because Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been with us, we may find it easier to fall in love with them, and we might ask, “What about you, Father? Do you not care enough to come to us as well?” This has been one of my struggles, but I have prayed and have studied, and the Father has been showing me how much he cares.
The Father demonstrates his love through the sending of his Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are his Word and his Breadth, inseparable from Him. If Jesus and the Spirit love us, the Father is loving us as well; he is the continual source of their love for us because it is his will. In the Gospel of John it is very clear that Jesus has come to reveal the Father. Jesus loves the Father very much, and he wants us to love him too. The mission of the Son and the Spirit, is to prepare us to receive the Father’s love. Their focus is on the Father, re-establishing our relationship with him. For happiness, it is not enough for us to have a relationship with the Son or the Spirit; we must understand their message and activity.
This is especially important for priests for it is their identity to reflect the love of the Father to their parishioners. When a Catholic calls their priest “father”, it is not an outdated title, it is a reminder to the priest of how he is to be.
“We [priests] derive our identity ultimately from the love of the Father, we turn our gaze to the Son, sent by the Father as high priest and good shepherd. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are united sacramentally to him in the ministerial priesthood. Our priestly life and activity continue the life and activity of Christ himself. Here lies our identity, our true dignity, the source of our joy, the very basis of our life.” –St. John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis
We must see that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are sharing the Father’s love with us and inviting us to love the Father as much as they love him. You, through this website, I hope will never forget your identity as one whom the Father loves.
Jesus’ Prayer to the Father for Us (John 17)
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction [Judas], in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one [Satan]. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”