‘We Call God ‘Abba’ Father’ by Bishop DiMarzio

June 15, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

There is no better meditation on the theology of fatherhood than the Lord’s Prayer. They are the words that Our Lord used to instruct His Apostles when they asked Him, “Teach us to pray.”

God is called “father” 14 times in the Old Testament and yet not by the word “Abba,” which was the word used by children to call their father – usually it was their first word. In fact, it is the word which Jesus used to instruct His Apostles in the Aramaic language which was the common parlance of the day. Jesus called God His Father, which was for many Jews a kind of blasphemy because who could call God his father except one who was generated by the Father. This is precisely why we can call God our father, because He is the Creator, the creator of each and every one of us.

In a certain sense, the word father is a metaphor for generator, the creator. It is important that we see that in God there is no human personality. But in order to make God understandable, Jesus allows us to call God our Father, as He called Him.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.