Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
‘Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.’
We are invited into the life of the Holy Trinity by our baptism. When we are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit and divine adoption. Words cannot fully express the graces that flow from this adoption, but we can explore a few as listed by St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans.
First, we are blessed to share familiarity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can call God Abba, which translates to dearest father or daddy. We are invited into deep, intimate, and personal relationship with God. This is not just a future promise in the heavenly realm, but even now we can call upon Our Father in any need.
Second, we are children, not slaves. We cooperate freely with God, not under compulsion, but directed by our own reason, our own will. We are called to listen closely to the Spirit, and thus avoid sin, but our actions are ultimately our own. God trusts us to choose the good and reject evil.
Thirdly, we are invited into the saving activity of the Trinity—our sufferings in this life can be redemptive if we unite them with Christ Jesus’ self-sacrifice. We can, in the words of St. Paul, “[fill] up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24) as members of His Body, the Church. God included us in His plan of salvation, and our good deeds are extensions of His own. Having received the gift of redemption from God, we can cooperate in God’s Grace for the salvation of others. Without Jesus, this would not be possible, for without Him we can do nothing (cf. John 15:5).
How blessed we are to receive this invitation! The Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit chooses us, despite our unworthiness, and invites us to participate in the most worthy work of salvation. May we be eager and joyful laborers in the vineyard with God.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn