Divine Filiation (latin mass)

17th Sunday after Pentecost
Beloved in the Lord,
St. Teresa of Avila always carried a statue of the child Jesus with her when she traveled. Her devotion to the Child Jesus began, when one day, as she was coming down the steps of her convent, she saw a beautiful young boy. The Child spoke to her and said: ‘Who are you?’ She said: ‘I am Teresa of Jesus, who are you?’ He answered: ‘I am Jesus of Teresa!’ and then he disappeared. But she would see him many more times.
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Friends in Christ, Our Lord has appeared to many saints over the years in the form of a child: St. Rose, St. Anthony, St. Gemma, St. Teresa, and others.
There are many ways that we personally relate to Our Lord: in his Passion, in his strength, or in his glory; but we can also relate to Christ as a child, and this can help us in an important way, because we ourselves are children of God.
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Christ has taught us to call God ‘Our Father,’ and in numerous cases he has urged us to be like little children.
In the gospel today, Our Lord asks a question about the Savior: ‘Whose son is he?,’ he asks. And they are confused. Christ gives them that mysterious answer quoting Psalm 110:  He says, ‘If David then called Him Lord, how is He his son?
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Christ is the Son of God and the son of Man. And this mystery is hinted at in that psalm. But this only scratches the surface, because this Son of God has come to earth, so that we could become sons of God as well by adoption.
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Back in the 2nd century, Irenaus said: ‘The Son of God became the Son of man, in order that Man might become sons of God.’ 
Central to our Christian vocation, is our new status as children of God.
In theology it is called ‘Divine Filiation.’ ‘Filial’ meaning son (or daughter). According to John Paul II, divine filiation is the deepest mystery of the Christian vocation and ‘the culminating point of our Christian life.’
St. Paul tells us today: ‘Walk worthy of the vocation in which you have been called.’
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Jesus as Son of God, became Man so that we might also become adopted sons of God. St. Irenaus said this back in the 2nd century: He says, ‘There are those who do not accept the gift of adoption,’ and they scorn the Incarnation of the Word. Then he says: ‘The Son of God became the Son of man, in order that Man might become sons of God.’ So this is how we can rightly say that being children of God is our central vocation. It’s how the Lord wants us to be.
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Jesus demonstrated this for us. Although Christ sometimes spoke with sternness, or warned about the judgment or of the fire of hell, in the end, the mothers were won over to him, and the children trusted him. Pharisees stood at a distance, but the children came close to him, and parents knew that with Jesus, their children were safe.
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Fr. Goodier says, all of this was because the heart of Christ had something of a child in it. And this must have been felt by those who were attracted to him; by the simple love he showed his Mother, by the trust he placed in others, his delight in the birds of the air and the flowers of the field; this Son of God watched the laborers in the field and the shepherd with his sheep; and we saw the ease with which he told charming stories about royal banquets and sheep gone astray – only a Man with the imagination of a child could speak in such a way.
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Christ demonstrates for us the child-heart that each of us should have. Our child-heart should have a simple love, not complicated; trusting others, trusting God, and delighting in the world. Children are not worried if they make mistakes. A child-heart knows that holiness doesn’t mean never making mistakes, it means to keep trying. It is not a matter of compiling a spotless record, but of beginning again, and trying to do God’s will. Once forgiven, a child simply tries again.
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Sincerity: here is another virtue called for, by divine sonship. Children make very poor liars and deceivers, you can see right through them, why? Because they do not have the practice of deceiving, of conniving, or scheming. A child-heart is sincere and honest. Trusting, not suspicious.
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‘He came unto his own and his own received him not; but to as many as received him, he gave the power of becoming sons of God.’ – That’s what St. John says: ‘He gave us the power of becoming sons of God.’ If we receive him, live for him, we will have a child-like trust. This abandonment to the will of God should always be part of our interior life; this humble recognition of our littleness.
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Faced with a very difficult task, the child has confidence that with his Father, he can do it. Father Fernandez says that by abandoning ourself into God’s hands, we become confident and are never prey to anxiety.
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When St. Thomas More was facing his execution, he wrote to his daughter: ‘Keep your spirits high, my daughter. Nothing can happen to me that God doesn’t want, and all that he wants is really for the best.’
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Trusting God without any conditions brings an unbreakable peace. St. Augustine said, ‘I am only a small child; but my Father lives forever and is my greatest protector.’  Our Father is one who has created galaxies and makes planets for goodness sakes; he is All Powerful. We can trust him.
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Spiritual childhood does not lead to immaturity or childishness. Some people spend their whole life a slave to their fluctuating desires and emotions, acting only for their self-interest. We’ve seen these people – self-centered and pathetic. St. Josemaria said, each of us has a choice: to be children of God or slaves to pride. The child of God is concerned not with his own self-interest, but with pleasing his Father in heaven, living as Jesus would live.
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To refer to the Christian as a child of God is not a mere figure of speech. It is true in the strictest sense, because we are sharing in his divine nature.
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There is a great scene in the Holy Gospels, in which Christ is speaking about the end of the world, and judgment; he is teaching the elders and his disciples; and in the midst of this serious teaching of the adults, children start flocking around him, climbing on him – his apostles try to stop this, but Jesus says: ‘Let the children come to me, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter it.’
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At the 2nd Coming of Christ, at the end of the world, it will be the children of the Kingdom who will approach him with confidence. ‘Let the children come to me, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’
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Let us ask Mary to pray for us; Mary help us to live as true children of God, and be worthy to approach him on the Last Day.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. Paul]

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