Sharing the Father’s Love – 16th Anniversary of JPII’s Death

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Sharing the Father’s Love

By: John Sohl


During the Year of St. Joseph, the FRP team like so many others is slowly working its way through the Consecration Prayers to Jesus through St. Joseph written by Jen Settle of the TOB Institute and Dr. Greg Bottaro of the CatholicPsych Institute. Fr. Donald Calloway’s book is of course another powerful option for Consecration to St. Joseph, and so my wife and I are reading through some of that as well during these days leading up to our Consecration. What this essentially means for the Church is that God the Father is preparing our hearts for a profound transformation in the world. The last 100 years have witnessed some intense changes in both good and bad ways. Modern conveniences like the microwave, central air and heating, indoor plumbing have all become staples of the developed world. Yet also in the name of convenience, other less neutral changes have taken place in society that deserves our attention and our outcry. Yet, it’s important to understand the how when going about seeking justice for the poor, marginalized, and dehumanized. The phrase “toxic masculinity” has been used in countless ways to degrade men and to make it seem that healthy leadership, real protection, and stable, reliable commitment isn’t possible for men today. Authority itself has been attacked quite brutally. In truth, the Father’s Love is real and is reliable! Our Dad loves us, even if we have never experienced that love from our earthly dad. St. Joseph is meant to guide us in being reparented in the most tangible, spiritual, emotional, and masculine way possible. St. Joseph is the man’s man! He guided and instructed and helped raise the most masculine man to ever live. Whenever Jesus would speak about the love of God the Father for each of us, who do you think came to mind as the visible presence who showed him such invisible love? His earthly father Joseph! Jesus felt invincible because of his earthly father’s strength. He was invincible because of His Heavenly Father’s powerful love. This same love was exuded in profound ways in the Holy Father John Paul II. During his pontificate, he traveled more than practically any human being in the history of humanity. He wrote enough books that an entire publishing house could dedicate its existence to his works. His opening words to us in St. Peter’s Square in 1978 were “Be not afraid!” and THAT phrase followed him all the way across the threshold of hope through his death 16 years ago. In fact, the anniversary of his death this year was on Good Friday, the very day in which the Father’s Love was most perfectly shared with the world in Jesus Christ. JPII’s entire life, his entire existence, his entire travel itinerary throughout civilization was to share the love and relationship with a man who never walked beyond the boundaries of what would be essentially Jefferson, Bullitt, or Oldham County. The saints JPII canonized, the feasts he established, the international festivals he inaugurated, the institutes he founded were all meant to bring us closer to St. Joseph’s foster-son and God, our loving Father’s only begotten Son Jesus! As we continue our petitions during this Way of Trust 54-Rosary Novena leading up to Pentecost, let us ask Mother Mary and her husband St. Joseph to pray for us intensely during this time. Come, Holy Spirit, let us speak your truth, your goodness, and your beauty to everyone we meet! Let us share your identity with the world. After all, the Holy Spirit IS the mutual Love that has always existed between the Father and the Son—and that love is the only love that truly satisfies our hungry hearts for passion, romance, encounter, nostalgia, and meaning. From wonder to wisdom, from life to love, from sorrow to joy, we will one day see the true Bridegroom in all his glory ready to meet us face to face in Heaven! In the words of our beloved Pope, let us “be not afraid” to go out into this world to meet Him in the faces of our families and friends. Let this Easter Joy, this Father’s Love, that is relived and re-experienced every year spill over into the hearts and minds of the whole world. May God bless each of you and your families during this Easter Season