2000 and beyond – 4

God the Father of Jesus Christ

“This eternal, founding and essential Fatherhood of God is revealed in the words, gestures, life and very existence of Jesus Christ, the Son made man. The heart of the message of the New Testament does not lie in this or that aspect of a divine paternal ‘attitude’ towards humanity, but the person of the Son, whose filial being is totally received and commensurate to that of his Father. God is Father not just because He acts paternally, but because He (eternally) has a Son. Paternity and filiation belong to the very heart of divine life, and as such are by no means secondary, developed or metaphorical designations. From that paternity, ‘all family (patria: social unit having common ancestry), whether spiritual or natural. takes its name’ (Eph 3:15), all fatherhood…all fraternity.'”

“The Gospel message centered on the person of Christ and thus, inextricably, on that of the Father, is expressed principally in John’s Gospel and in the Pauline Epistles. Jesus considers and defines himself not in terms of himself and his message, but exclusively in relation to the Father: he exists and acts as subsistent relation to the Father. His consciousness, mission and very existence is essentially dialogical, filial. When he addresses God, he calls Him Father, Abba, that is ‘Papa.’ He must be ‘busy about his Father’s affairs’ (Lk 2:49). The Jews were in fact scandalized by his unheard-of daring in considering God in this way (cf. Jn 8:31-59). This was a new departure: a mere man claimed to have overcome the enormous gulf that separates the human and divine” (ibid.).