The gospel today opens with the first great scandal of Christianity, the one that first got the rouges wagging against Jesus and his followers.
"he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God."
Today we think nothing of it. We pray the Our Father without even thinking about it as strange. I would love to thing that it is because we are so steeped in Christian theology but I concern it is something else. I wonder if the reason we aren't shock is because we haven't really grasped what we are saying.
Sometimes I hear "We are all God's children." which is a kind sentiment but not really Christian.
Are we all created in the image and likeness of God? Yes.
Are we all loved by God? Yes
Does God love Christians more that Muslims and Jews? No
But when we speak of being God's children we mean something more.
As the new missal corrected, we do not believe as Christians that Jesus is the only Son of God. He is the only-begotten Son. We are adopted children.
How are we adopted? The adoption takes place at our baptism.
It's always struck me as odd that some question infant baptism and yet aren't most adopted children adopted as infants?
This adoption means more than just "God loves me." Like civil adoption it means our most basic identity is changed.
As our baptismal rite says, "You have become a new creation"
We are reborn.
Jesus was the first to be able to rightly call God his father but not the last. To the Gospel invites us to reflect on the deepest meaning of our baptism, our adoption and the new identity we were given on that day.