Friday, 10/30/15 – A Father’s Love

The Father and the Son

(Romans 9:1-5; Psalm 1: PS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20; Luke 14:1-6)

Paul so intimately knew our Lord Jesus that he was overcome with inexplicable grief when faced with the Jewish people’s denial of his true divinity. He so wanted them to experience the fullness of the Father’s love. Remember, Paul was not only a former Roman soldier, he was also a Jew and these were his people. Paul became riddled with disbelief and heartache when his Jewish people denied our Lord, the pain undoubtedly brought him to his knees. No matter how hard Paul tried to reveal to them the truth they couldn’t see it. Who among us in today’s world understands deep grief when a loved one can’t see Jesus? Yes, we understand in our own way Paul’s torment.

Paul was a man who felt with deep passion and conviction. How deep must his pain have been when his family couldn’t see the truth. Additionally, being a former Roman soldier, Paul was a man of great honor and commitment. How could he reconcile this breach in his heart; how could he love Christ and honor his people?  Obviously he couldn’t do it without pain. His heart broke so much that he would wish himself accursed if this sacrifice would save his people from their unbelief. Fortunately for us, and our loved ones, we now know about the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God.

Paul was handpicked by God himself to present the truth of Christ to all, even if that meant he must suffer the anguish of witnessing his people turn their backs on Jesus. Paul must soldier on, there are other children of Israel who are begging for adoption and Paul must tend to those sheep, the future Christians, so that they can hear God’s voice and experience the Father’s love.

In our Gospel today Jesus shares with us that same love of family when he spoke to the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath – a big no-no according to Jewish law. However, Jesus knew his dinner companions that evening, and he knew they would break this law to save their sons from imminent death. Yes, Jesus knew how important family was to the Jewish community, he fully understood the deep bond of family loyalty and he used this sense of family love in an attempt to reveal to them the importance of healing the broken in their midst.

Yet, since the time of Jesus many question God’s existence because Jesus died such a horrific death on the cross. What kind of loving father could stand by and allow his one and only begotten son, whom he was well pleased with, die such an agonizing death? Let alone what “loving” god could allow this. Even the Pharisees would rescue their sons from the cistern on the Sabbath.

Jesus is hanging on the cross, calling out for his father at the pinnacle of his painful ordeal and nothing – crickets, or so it would appear… On the surface I could see their point – what type of god is this Christian God? If that is who you worship then please excuse me as I peace out and search elsewhere for happiness.

However, God did rescue his son from the deep, dark, cold cistern. He raised him up and sat him at his right side where he rules for all eternity. To fully understand what is going on here we must remain ever mindful of the fact that Jesus carried all of our sins upon himself, all of our deepest pains; including the pain experienced by those who experience the absence of God in their lives – much like Paul’s kinsmen who didn’t receive Christ into their hearts and our loved ones who don’t know Jesus. This is the deepest pain a soul can ever experience – separation from our loving Father who alone has the power to grant us true happiness. This pain Jesus experienced as he uttered “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). We can never understand the pain that Father and Son experienced at that moment, yet, they did it for us so that we can live wholly.

So the next time you feel no one will rescue you, or when no one will rescue your loved ones, remember that Jesus has already carried this pain over 2,000 years ago on Calvary. Also, remember there are “Pauls” in the world who are led by Christ, they are filled with compassion and love for God’s children. Modern day Pauls experience a deep ache in their hearts because they desire our salvation and unification with the Father’s love so intently. They will lead us when we need a guide. Many are priests, religious, and lay people alike. They come in many forms, as God knows that we need different types of messengers in order to hear the message. All we need to do is keep an open ear and listen for them. If it is our loved ones who cannot see the truth then we must pray and trust in the power of prayer, mercy, grace and forgiveness. I have been blessed to run across a few “Pauls” in my life time when I needed a road map. Most importantly, I have been blessed to witness their arrival in the lives of my loved ones when I have prayed with fervor for their unification with the Father’s love.

No matter the pain, no matter the sorrow, no matter the sense of abandonment one may feel; God’s messengers are among us today and they are ready to lead us home where all suffering ceases to exist, where we will experience our Father’s love for all eternity.

Jesus – I love you!

About the Author

Carolyn Berghuis MS, ND, CTN is a best-selling author, inspirational speaker, traditional naturopath, and free-lance Catholic writer. She has spent over 20 years helping individuals experience real transformation in their body, heart and soul. Carolyn credits her frequent time spent in Eucharistic Adoration and regular Mass attendance for her spiritual growth and internal peace. Carolyn Berghuis is creator of The LIVE Method (Love is Victorious Everywhere) and the founder of Trinity Holistic Wellness. A woman whose compassion and determination are a powerful portrait of the human spirit, she has discovered the path to real happiness and peace. Her weekly on-line reflections on inspire readers across the globe and her heart for healing propels her forward as she seeks to assist those on their journey towards happiness and wholeness. Additionally, Carolyn is currently pursuing an MA in Pastoral Theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. Carolyn also holds a BS in Mathematics, a MS in Holistic Nutrition and a doctoral degree in Naturopathy. Together with her husband, Scott Berghuis, Carolyn enjoys a rich family life with their three beautiful children and seven amazing grandchildren. Carolyn is available to speak on a variety of Catholic topics. If you would like Carolyn to speak at your local event please contact her at You can learn more about Carolyn's ministry at

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  1. Hello Carolyn, I stumbled upon your reflection today and I must say it has been of immense help to me. I have been struggling with a forgiveness issue for some time now and I have been able to let go since after I read your reflection. I am a catholic as well and a Nigerian.

  2. Please pray for my husband and children and other family members who are away from the love of our
    Heavenly and Savior.

    Thank you for your explanation of the love and duty of the present Pauls in out times of daily

  3. Dear Agnes,
    I will pray for your family Agnes. I am thankful you find my reflections helpful my friend in Christ.
    Blessings – Carolyn

  4. Dear Phina,

    I am grateful my reflection helped you move into forgiveness. True freedom is found in forgiveness and how blessed are we to have such an amazing Savior who modeled it so fully to us.
    Blessings – Carolyn

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