The Challenge of Family Imagery: Moving Towards the Fatherhood of God

Authored by Sam Robson in Issue #35.4 of The Sower

The imagery involving sons and fathers in Sacred Scripture can prompt unexpected responses:
• “Some of the language is not inclusive,” comments one person reviewing a new catechetical resource. “Speaking of us as 'adopted sons' excludes those who aren't male!”
• “I really couldn’t stomach the first reading of our service today,” a non-Catholic friend confides over Sunday lunch. “It was such an unpleasant story, about Abraham being prepared to sacrifice his son when asked to by God. How could any father do that?”
• “I’m worried I just can’t grasp this idea of God as like the father who routinely walks out to see if his son is going to come home,” says an RCIA candidate. “That wasn’t what family life was like for me, growing up, so how can I ever understand what God is like?”

The relationship between the Father and his Son is essential to Christian Revelation through which “God speaks to man in a human way.” However, for some adults, scriptural accounts involving family imagery can seem like an obstacle. Obviously, the facts of an individual’s past are what they are, and a catechist is no psychotherapist. However, the catechist is in a position to help by highlighting helpful interpretive principles and imparting a deeper understanding of Christian truths.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

A Catechesis for the Present and for the Future
By Gloria Zapiain
This article explores chapters 9-10 of the Directory for Catechesis. Chapters nine and ten usher in Part III , the last of the main sections of the Directory for Catechesis , entitled “Catechesis in the Particular Churches .” This refers to the implementation of catechesis in (arch)dioceses and other ecclesial institutions, how catechesis is... Read more
Creating a More Welcoming School: Addressing Culture and the Catholic Worldview
By Clare Kilbane
https://pixabay.com/photos/teacher-learning-school-teaching-4784916/ The religious identity of students enrolled in Catholic schools is increasingly diverse. In most classrooms today, it is common to find students who identify themselves as Catholic, those who practice other religions, and some who are not religious. It goes without saying that a... Read more
Inculturation and Organizational Structures in the Directory for Catechesis
By Monsignor John Pollard
This article explores chapters 10-11 of the Directory for Catechesis . Catechesis at the Service of the Inculturation of the Faith At the press conference to present the new Directory for Catechesis (2020), Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, stated, “The need for a new... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now