Cantalamisa: God cannot be his father and not his neighbor as a brother

The Capuchin friar, preacher of the Pontifical House, gave the first sermon for Advent on Friday morning (12/03): “God has sent his Son so that we may all receive adoptive sonship” was the title of this first meditation.

Raimundo de Lima – Vatican News

Listen to the report and share!

The orator of the Papal House, the Capuchin friar Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, gave to the Roman Curia at the end of Friday morning (12/3), in Paul VI Hall, Vatican, the first preaching of Advent, entitled “God has sent his Son, that we may all obtain adoptive sonship.”

The Franciscans began by recalling that it was the last Lent, the Chalcedonian doctrine of Christ, the true man, the true God, and man who guided us. Now – he said – we will be guided by one of the most typical liturgical texts of Advent, namely Galatians 4, 4 – 7. Thus it states:

When the allotted time was fulfilled, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law and so that we might all receive adoptive sonship. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying out: Abba – Father! Then you are no longer a slave, but a son; And if you are a son, you are also an heir: all this is by the grace of God.

Cantalamessa explained that this passage, in a nutshell, is a synthesis of the entire Christian sacrament. The Trinity exists: God the Father, his Son, and the Holy Spirit. is incarnation: “God sent his son”; All this is not in the abstract and beyond, but in the history of salvation: “When the time was over.” The hidden but essential presence of Mary is not lacking: “Born of a woman”. Finally, there is the fruit of it all: men and women made children of God and a temple for the Holy Spirit.

Lord’s child

In the first meditation, the preacher of the papal family stuck to the first part of the text: “God has sent his Son, that we may all receive adoptive sonship.” The fatherhood of God – as the Capuchin friar noted – is at the heart of Jesus’ preaching.

“And also in the Old Testament God is seen as a Father.” What is new – stressed – is that God is now seen not as “the Father of his people Israel,” in the collective sense, so to speak, but as the Father of every man, just or sinful: therefore, in an individual and a people. He takes care of each one as if he were the only one. Everyone knows the needs and ideas and even calculates the hair of the head.

The Cardinal continued his reflection, asserting that the newness of Christ lies in the fact that God, who remained as he was in the Old Testament, that is, three times holy, just and omnipotent, is now given to us as Father!

This is the image that Jesus painted at the beginning of Our Father that contains all the rest: “Our Father who art in heaven”: “He who is in heaven,” that is, He who is above, transcendent, far from us as heaven from earth. But “Our Father”, rather, in the original “Abba”, added something like my father, my father.

The real news that will change everything

The Pontifical Preacher noted that in the preaching of Jesus we begin to see the real new that will change everything:

God is not a father in the figurative and moral sense only, because he created his people and takes care of them. He is also – and above all – the true father of a true son who was born “before dawn”, that is, before the beginning of time, and it will be thanks to this only begotten Son that men will also become his children. God is real, not just metaphorical.

Cantalamessa emphasized that to express the fullness of this sacrament, it is necessary to consider that “God transmits to us not only the name of the sons, but also his intimate life, his soul, which is, so to speak, his DNA” . Through baptism the life of God flows into us.”

He went on to say on this point, the Evangelist John asserts that those who believe in Christ are “begotten of God Himself” (John 1:13); In baptism, one is born “from the Spirit”, “one is born from above” (cf. Jn 3: 5-6).

From faith to astonishment

So far the Capuchin monk has told the truths of our faith. He stressed that it was not about them, however, I would like to dwell on. What, then, is something different that we suggest with this thinking? – Asked.

To discover this, I begin with a sentence from our Holy Father in the Catechism on the Epistle to the Galatians, from the audience of last September 8. After quoting our adoption text for children, he added:

“We Christians often take for granted the fact that we are children of God. On the contrary, it is good to always remember with gratitude the moment when we became so, the moment of our baptism, in order to live more consciously the great gift we have received.”

If we are here meditating on this, it means that we have already believed, that in us faith has been added to the mystery. So what are we still missing out on? “We lack amazement of faith.” The preacher of the Pontifical House put some considerations to stress the necessity of making this leap in the quality of faith in order to astonish the understanding of ourselves as children of God.

Universal brotherhood: all brothers to each other

Cantalamessa also emphasized that in addition to one’s awareness of one’s dignity arising from being children of God, the other consequence, and more importantly, is the awareness of the dignity of others, who are also sons and daughters of God.

For us Christians – he said – human brotherhood has its ultimate cause in the fact that God is the Father of all, and that we are all sons and daughters of God and, therefore, brothers and sisters to one another.

Saint Cyprian said: “God cannot be a father if the church is not his mother.” We must add: “God cannot be a father who has no brother’s relative.”.

Leave a Comment