Resting in the Father’s Love

In awe of the gift of new life

Their eyes were glowing as they came through the door of the Visitation Center, with wide smiles upon their faces. Kevin and Andrea couldn’t wait to remove the blankets from the car seat to unveil the treasure held within: their newborn baby girl, Melissa. Andrea gingerly took her out of the car seat and handed her to me, and all became silent as the three of us took in the tiny features of this precious baby. Our conversation ebbed and flowed as we talked about the joys of new parenthood, and attended to Melissa’s every movement, facial expression, and cry. When asked about the best part so far in this adventure of caring for a new life, Kevin answered first: “Just looking at her… I could look at her all day long. She says: life is beautiful”.

The response of this young father, relishing the gift of the new life entrusted to him, moves our hearts because it tells us something about the love of God the Father, a love that we all thirst for. Every human heart desires to be held in the gaze of a loving father. And as I took in this scene, I couldn’t help but think of the Holy Family in the stable, as Mary and Joseph beheld the Infant Jesus with awe and wonder. Jesus in becoming a tiny infant, held in Mary’s arms, shows us that this love we thirst for does exist, that our Heavenly Father looks upon us at every moment with the greatest love. We can learn from the Newborn Christ two things: our infinite worth and the way to live from the truth of that worth, in trust of the Father.

Jesus becoming man shows us just how precious we are in the eyes of the Father; the almighty, infinite, all-knowing, eternal God lowered Himself to become one of the least of men, in order to bring us back to Him in the heights of heaven. He did this all for love- so that we could receive His Divine love in our frail humanity, so that we would not be afraid to approach His greatness because He wrapped Himself in our littleness.

When we look at Jesus sleeping in Mary’s arms, just like Melissa sleeping in Andrea’s arms, we see the Father so pleased in His child. Infants sleep peacefully, dependent on their parents, trusting that their every need will be met. They live totally surrendered, because they can’t do anything on their own. This is how the Father wants us to be as He looks on us with complete and unconditional love. Jesus teaches us that our Heavenly Father can be trusted, that He is so in love with us, that He cherishes us as a new father cherishes every moment with His newborn child.

This Christmas, let us learn from Melissa in the arms of her parents. Let us learn from the Infant Christ, totally dependent on Mary and Joseph. Let us surrender ourselves in total trust to the love of our Heavenly Father, who looks on us with the greatest love.

Father, we thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for showing us your infinite love for us by sending us Jesus, the Word made flesh, as a tiny infant in the arms of Mary. Help us to learn from Him to surrender all that we are and all that we have to you- to rest in your strong arms as a newborn baby, with total trust. Help us to experience your delight in us, and to receive your love more fully, that we might love you more fully in return. We ask all this in the name of your Son Jesus, our Infant King. Amen.