I have been recalling how it felt when my first child arrived – ecstatic, scared, awed. Awed – that’s a good word. I was awed at the new life in my arms. Looking at him, how could anyone doubt that there was a God when they saw the beauty of this boy? I remember attending Mass a couple of Sundays afterward and, as the Eucharistic prayer began, just weeping in a loving awe at the realizations sweeping over me:
The first was in regard to Jesus: My little boy, the most important person in the world to me, was loved by Jesus. Jesus had stretched out His arms and let nails be driven through them for my child. I was grateful that Jesus had died for me, but now I felt an unspeakably deeper gratitude because He had laid down His Life for my child !
The second was in regard to God the Father: I know that theologians have explored why the Son became incarnate instead of one of the Other Persons of the Trinity. But what I saw, becoming a new dad, was that the Father's sending of His Son was an even greater act of Love for us than if the Father had come Himself. In sending His Son, the Father sent the One He Loves and cherishes even more than Himself ! And the Father sent Him, knowing how we would treat Him, knowing that we would torture and kill Him. Paul's words from Romans never penetrated me so deeply, "God proves His love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
There's fatherhood, and then there's Fatherhood. And I stand in awe.