Today's reflection by John Chuchman sits beautifully with a number of the conversations on our forum at the moment exploring the nature of this myster we try to condense into the word "God" and the relationship we are called into with this One who was referred to by Jesus as his "Father". In particular, as well as John's commentary, I draw your attention to a post by Enda on our forum exploring the spirituality of Edmund Rice on a similar theme [See: "The emphasis is on Christ-ian": LINK].
The Parable of the Loving Father
those that pay, pray, obey,
while looking down upon
those that do not do so,
anticipate reward for good behavior,
direct entry through the Pearly Gates.
They seem unable to fathom
the utter gratuity of God's Love,
given and being given as Gift
rather than reward,
not as payback
for following a set of rules or rituals.
Just as the parabled son,
we stand before our Parent,
naked and disheveled,
shivering and dirty,
empty-handed and broken hearted.
Just as the parabled son,
it is in our need
that we turn ourselves over to
our Loving Parent
holding out a thread of Hope
for some small shred of Mercy.
And just as the parabled son,
we receive so much more:
And just as with the parabled good other son,
those that have dutifully
paid, prayed, and obeyed,
resent the Parent's Love
claiming it just is not fair.
Love, John Chuchman
This reflection is also published on John Chuchman's blog.
The background used to support John Chuchman's reflection has been sourced from stock.xchng one of the sources for free images on the net provided by people who voluntarily upload their work for others to share. Daniel Cubillas who is located in Spain provided today's image. A gallery of Daniel's freely available images can be found at: www.sxc.hu/gallery/dcubillas. The image used in the headline is sourced from the ex-christian net website: new.exchristian.net/2011/02/loving-father.html
John Chuchman is a bereavement counsellor. He is a graduate of John Carroll University and former Ford Motor Company executive (1959-1992). He has been a Hospice volunteer since 1990. John has received Pastoral Bereavement Counselor certification and a Certificate in Spirituality (Kino Institute of Phoenix, Arizona.) In 2000, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. His website provides information about his regular retreats and information about his books. he also writes a "Poetman" blog which you can find on the website or via this link: [Visit John's blog] | [Visit John's website]
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[Index of Commentaries by John Chuchman]