Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Acts 4:8-12; Psalm 118:1,8-9,21-23,26,29; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18)
Knowing and Experiencing the Love of Our Heavenly Father
“We are God’s children.” (1 John 3:2)
What a radical statement! How awesome it is that we mere mortals are children of the eternal, almighty God! What could be more wonderful than having the Creator of the universe as your own dad?
Being a child of God is not just a matter of doctrine or intellectual faith but of relationship—a relationship founded on love: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1).
Being his daughter, being his son, is a reality that God wants each of us to know intellectually and experience emotionally. Even during those times when we don’t feel particularly loved—as happens with any child at one point or another—we can still hold our heads up high and smile. Why? Because our God is the “Father of compassion and God of all encouragement” (2 Corinthians 1:3).
One of the greatest privileges of living the Christian life is that we can embrace both the “already” and the “not yet” of our identity as children of God. Because we are already children of God now, we can enjoy the blessings of having such a devoted and caring Father. And when we face trials or feel abandoned, we can fix our hearts on heaven, where we will finally see our Father face-to-face and where he will wipe away every tear from our eyes and set us free from everything that weighs us down.
Make this the theme of your prayer today. You have a Father who loves you not because of how good you are or what you do but simply because you are his. You have a Father who likes to give you good gifts, a Father who cares about you so much that he has counted every hair on your head (Matthew 7:11; Luke 12:7). You have a Father who walks with you through every storm, always reminding you of his promises and his provision.
“Heavenly Father, the best of all fathers, what a privilege it is to be your child! I put my trust in you, for your love is steadfast and unfailing.”
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- In the first reading, we learn that there is no “other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” The very use of Jesus’ name by Peter healed a cripple! Why do you believe there is power in the name of Jesus, especially when we pray? How do you use the name of Christ? Share any times when you prayed for someone or something in the name of Jesus and God answered your prayer.
- In the Responsorial Psalm, our response is “The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.“ Is Christ the cornerstone of your life, especially when you are immersed in the busyness of your day? What steps can you take to turn to the Lord more often during the day?
- The second reading exalts in the love the Father has bestowed on us (“lavished on us” in another translation). So much so that we can now be called “children of God.” How much time do you spend talking to God, your Father, in daily prayer during the week? What steps can you take to spend more time in prayer with him?
- The Gospel tells us the wonderful story in which Christ reveals himself as the Good Shepherd, who knows each one of us, and who gives his life for us. What experiences in your life can you say have been examples of when Christ was the “Good Shepherd” for you in a difficult time?
- In the meditation, we hear these words: “One of the greatest privileges of living the Christian life is that we can embrace both the “already” and the “not yet” of our identity as children of God.” What do these words mean to you? In what ways can you allow these truths to have a greater impact on how you live your life each day?
- Take some time now to pray that you would come to know and experience more deeply the love of your Heavenly Father and what it means to be his beloved child. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.