Doing the Will of the Father

06-28-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Jesus gives us difficult words in today's Gospel according to Matthew. He says, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." We are, of course, commanded to honor our mother and father, according to the 4th Commandment. And we are to love the little children for only those who are like little children will enter the Kingdom of God. Even more, Jesus ends today's passage that whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these little ones will surely not lose his reward. So, what to make of this quote?

When we put another human being in the primary position, we are, in effect, placing that person above God. Jesus, the Son of God and second person of the Holy Trinity, is worthy of all love and adoration. It is His act of love by being crucified on the Cross for our redemption that brings forth our newfound relationship with the Father, that we become, in the Son, adopted sons (and daughters) of the Father. Jesus Himself did the will of the Father, and claimed that doing His will was most important. So important this was that Jesus says that even those who do the will of the Father are mother and sister and brother to Him. In essence, it is more important to do the will of the Father than to claim a blood relationship with either Christ or with another person. But it is only in doing the will of the Father that we are able to truly love father and mother, brother and sister, and son and daughter.

This quote is not a denigration, then, of our parents or are children; rather it is placing our relationship with them in its proper context. We are called to love our parents and our children as Jesus loves them and by entrusting them to the Sacred Heart of our Lord. His death on the cross was a redemptive death for all people who so desire to accept His sacrificial love. And it is that sacrificial model of love on the cross that we are called to imitate in our relationships with our families. But we can only do that when we place Jesus in our heart and offer our love for Him back to the Father and in the Holy Spirit.