2000 and beyond – 3

The first words of Jesus recorded in the New Testament were said to Mary and Joseph, after they found Him in the Temple conversing with the EldersL “Why were you searching for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” (Lk 2:49). His last words were: “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit” (Lk 23:46). The whole of the New Testament is a revelation of the Father by His Son, Jesus Christ, through His words and actions. But, over and above that, we must understand the importance and centrality of the Son’s relationship with the Father.

THE FATHER REVEALED IN ESSENCE

“Certainly the paternal goodness of God reaches each and every human being…(cf. Mt 5:45; Lk 6:35). His mercy is abundant and universal (cf. Mt 6:14-15; Lk 11:4), especially toward the afflicted and lost… His paternal solicitude is boundless (cf. Lk 12:16-32; Mt 6:25-33), hence His children should live in peace and joy (cf. Mt 6:8; Lk 10:41, 12-24, 30). The abundance of divine paternal benevolence encourages His children to live as the Father lives: “to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48), accomplishing His will (cf. 7: 21-27) in all sincerity (cf. Mt 6:1-6, 16-18), imitating His goodness and mercy (cf. Mt 5:7, Lk 6:36), pardoning others their faults (cf Mt 5:23), promoting a civilization of reconciliation and love” (cf Mt 5:44; Lk 6:35; O’Callaghan, P. 1996. In praise of His glory: The Fatherhood of God, Christ’s own perspective. In Preparing for the Year 2000).

“But the radical quality of the New Testament’s turnabout as regards the paternity of God, is not to be found, as it were, in mere reinforcement of the fatherly traits of the divinity. God is not considered as a Father in the New Testament simply because He acts in an evermore paternal way towards creatures, developing His qualities of fatherhood more or less in the same way humans do… The point is that God, in His most inner essence, is and always was Father, insofar as He is and always engendered a Son” (ibid.).

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