When I was growing up, my dad made a promise with my brothers and me that if we all got good grades throughout the year, he would buy us a Nintendo gaming system. We were so excited about the possibility of getting it, so all throughout the year we challenged each other and helped each other to make sure we all did well. All throughout the year we would report back to dad our grades. When we told him our grades, he would just look at us, smile, and never say anything about his promise. When the end of the year came, we all did well in school and were so excited that we rushed home to call dad at work.
When we talked to him, it was a quick conversation, and he got off the phone very abruptly. He did not sound excited and never mentioned honoring his promise to us. We were in disbelief, thought he forgot, complained, and were miserable the rest of the day. Later that night, as we were sulking in the living room together, he entered the room with his arms full. In his arms was not only the Nintendo system, but also some of the best games and accessories for it. He said he was so excited after we called that he rushed to finish his work so he could buy it for us. We were embarrassed; I was embarrassed in thinking that our dad forgot about us.
How many times in our lives do we think God forgets his promises towards us? Life sometimes has a way to do that to us… we may get angry with Him at times because life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. We may even lose our way and think God is not loving. If we stay in that mindset for too long, we will not see God as a loving Father who wants the best for us. We will not see him as a Father who loves to give his children gifts. We may not even see him as Our Father at all.
Over and over throughout the scriptures, we hear that the proper term for God is Our Father. Not a Father, but THE Father, the one from whom all fatherhood comes. The one who picks us up when we fall down in life, and the one who loves us greatly. The one Father who is not flawed, never forgets his promises to His children, and always delivers. One way to grow is to remember daily that Our Father never forgets us, and that we are all part of His family. Our Father in Heaven is always standing at the door of our hearts. His son Jesus is still present in the world today. He is present in the mysteries of the sacraments. When we receive the Eucharist, we receive Him, and He wants us to make Him present to others.
This Christmas Season, are we willing to open the door of our hearts to Him? Are we willing to open our hearts as a family of faith here at St David’s parish, to come to know Him and love Him in this life and the next? The Holy Family is Holy because they opened their hearts to Our Father. They trusted in God’s Word even when they lost their son. Mary trusted in God’s promise even when she watched her son die on the cross. My prayer for all of us this Christmas is that we open the door of our hearts even wider to faith, hope and love, and to Christ’s promises to us. When we do, we will see that Our Father’s promises are so much greater than we could have ever expected.