It is good to read St Paul’s letter to the Galatians (Gal 4:6) which says that during our baptism:
Now because you are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts to cry out, “Abba! Father!”
God gives us His Spirit. A Spirit who constantly calls out “Abba, Father!” in our hearts, the icon of a compassionate Father whom Jesus revealed particularly in His parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32).
Saint Pope John Paul II in his encyclical letter Dives in Misericordia gave us a clear understanding of the mystery of God’s mercy and compassion to His people. What a privilege we have received! The omnipotent and Holy God has adopted us as His own children and invites us to call Him “Abba, Father!”. He is the God of tenderness, mercy and fidelity. He is Abba – just as a child would call his/her father. And this Abba calls us to return to Him, to claim Him once again as our only Father who knows very well what is good for us. He calls us to claim once more our innocence and freedom as His children. Yet this can only happen if we truly trust Him and humble ourselves before Him. He is patiently watching and waiting for our coming back no matter how many times we turn away from Him. His overflowing love knows only joy, His love is greater than our human hearts, greater than justice, greater than our sins.
Our Abba is always faithful to His Fatherhood even if many times we betray our dignity as daughters and sons of Him. Even when His heart is broken by our departure, He never ceases loving us. Every time we come to our senses and resolve to go back home to our Father, He offers us a new beginning, a new dawn of home to start a new life. The challenge is for us to accept this image, this icon of the Father. Like the prodigal son on his way home, we cannot imagine that we can totally be forgiven. At times we expect to be treated like a “slave” hence we are hesitant to surrender ourselves absolutely to God’s care and love and to bury our faces in His loving embrace.
We remind ourselves that to receive forgiveness means to let God be God and let Him heal our wounds and be confident of the Father’s care and protection. It is a constant and conscious choice that we have to make if we are true to our calling as daughters and sons of our Abba – our motherly Father.