Jesus Christ became man to reveal to us God the Father, so we will love God as a father, as our true Father, who loves us just as we are, with our smallness and weakness.
Even on Corpus Christi Jesus reveals the paternal love of the Father, as he taught us in his famous Eucharistic Discourse:
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal… Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world… I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst… I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:27, 32–33, 35, 51).
God the Father is a true father who feeds his children bread, true bread from heaven, which is Christ’s Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. God the Father feeds us with love, Love Incarnate, and he does this with tender compassion, sending his Son into the world not to condemn us, but to save us (see John 3:17).
Let’s pray that fathers better exemplify God’s tender love, to provide not just physical food for their children, but provide spiritual food too: an example of holiness for their children to follow, to “be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
The Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocaris, wrote a short letter last week. I found it a great reminder that we are still in the Year of the Family, a year that we want to finish off well.
My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me! June 26th will end the Year of the Family convoked by Pope Francis, who has invited us to reflect on the importance of the family in the Church and in all of society.
The family is the first setting where a person becomes aware of being loved for who he or she is and learns to love others. All families have their strengths and weaknesses, their good times and their difficulties. But our Lord is always calling us to look at each person with gratitude and love. Loving others as they are – with their virtues and defects – will lead us to have a heart in harmony with that of Jesus. As Saint Josemaría said: “The human heart is endowed with an enormous coefficient of expansion. When it loves, it opens out in a ‘crescendo’ of affection that overcomes all barriers. If you love our Lord, there will not be a single creature that does not find a place in your heart” (The Way of the Cross, Eighth Station, med. 5).
Couples who try to build a Christian family today face many challenges. Among these are reconciling family duties with their work, social relationships, rest, and so on. Therefore it is very good to accompany them from the very beginning of their marriage path. I encourage you to promote activities and initiatives along these lines, knowing that they have a “multiplying effect.” “How important it is that young people see with their own eyes Christ’s love alive and present in the love of married couples, who give testimony with their own life that a love that lasts forever is possible!” (Francis, Video message, 9 June 2021).
We entrust to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph the fruits of the Year of the Family that is now ending. We ask them that all Christian homes may be a reflection of the home in Nazareth.
Your Father blesses you with all his affection,
Fernando, Rome, 14 June 2022
I thank my own father, and all who have been great spiritual fathers to me in my life.