Posts Tagged ‘Becoming Adults in the Sight of God’

Becoming All That We Can Be

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

4th Sunday of Easter

Acts 4: 8-12; 1John 3: 1-2; John 10: 11-18

By Deacon Larry Brockman


We are children of God now!  Isn’t that exciting!  Children of God, wow.  But what exactly does that mean?  


Well, let’s look at our relationship with God for a moment.  God gives us life- and in fact, unless God wills that we breathe, we would perish.  And He has given us our talents and personalities, and the opportunities and significant incidences that we have experienced in our lives.  These have not been random or self-made. Rather, they have been gifts from God-  gifts that have been given out of the infinite goodness of God in love.  But do we appreciate these gifts?  Have we thanked God for all these gifts- our spouses, our children, our families, our careers, our vacations, our hobbies; our talents; our leisure, our life-  all of the things that we have liked about life?  They are truly gifts from God.  But have we thanked God for them?

Now some of you may be thinking:  “Yes, but if God loves me so much, why would he give me something and then take it away”?  Indeed, many of God’s gifts have not lasted- our children grow up and leave us; our spouses die and leave us in loneliness; our vacations last such a short time; our health fails, either mentally or physically or both; and  even our talents and interests fade with the passage of time.


And yet, most of the gifts we give our children don’t always last either.  For example, often we give our children things, and then take them away later.  Why do we do that?  Because it’s for their own good.  A baby needs a pacifier- but there comes a time…  A child needs training wheels on his bike- but there comes a time…  And a child lives at home, but there comes a time…  There are many things we did for our children out of love and things we gave them but then took them away later.  But, we did all that out of love.  And yet, our children didn’t always see these things done out of love.  And so often times, as parents we have not been appreciated for what we have done for our children out of love.  That’s one of the reasons that I asked if you have thanked God.  Because just as we would like to be thanked by our children, God wants to be appreciated and thanked for what He has done for us.  Unfortunately, just as our children balk over some of our actions, we bulk at some of God’s actions in our lives.   

You see, it’s all about love, the love that God has for us.  That’s why he gives us our gifts- because He loves us.  And yes, this also means that he knows when to take our gifts away from us.


Now the parallel I drew between God’s love for us and our love for our children is not always accurate.  Sometimes our parents did not always act out of love and as parents, we have not always act out of love either.  Because, we are not perfect; we are all sinners.  But I use this parallel between ourselves as parents and God to make a point.  Namely, that many of the things God does do out of love are not always understood.  Just as many of the things we did for our children out of love were not understood either.


The Good Shepherd analogy helps us to understand what is unique about our relationship with God.  Jesus is suggesting that we need to be like the sheep- we need to trust in him always; trust is the answer.  We must first of all recognize the true shepherd, and then we must follow him, and ignore the influence of others.  We need to appreciate the goodness of God, and His love for us, just as the sheep recognize the concern and love that the Shepherd has for them.  Sheep follow blindly out of trust for their shepherd, and that’s what we need to do- follow Jesus blindly.  In other words, like sheep, we need to love God like it is second nature to us.  Why? Because Jesus has proven His love for us:  He died for us, and there is no greater proof of loyalty than that.


In our second reading, St. John goes on to talk about what we will be in the future.  Now, we are children of God.  But in the future, after we trust in God and follow Him, we shall be something more than sons of God.  We will be “like him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  Like our children, we will grow up.  And when we are mature, we will be adults in the sight of God.