“Today I wish to say that openness to Christ, who as the Redeemer of the world fully reveals man himself, can only be achieved through an ever more mature reference to the Father and His love” (Encyclical “Dives in misericordia”, Pope John Paul II).

Pope John Paul II speaks of an ever more mature relationship with our Father that will help the world to open itself to the Savior.

What is this relationship? It is a relationship in which we Christians become ever more certain of our Father’s love; it is a relationship in which any misconceptions we may still have about Him fade away, especially when they are obscured by fear and a false reverence for our heavenly Father.

Moreover, this increasingly mature relationship with the Father leads us to embrace the mission He has entrusted to us in our lives as His beloved children: to cooperate in His Kingdom, to glorify God, and to serve mankind.

Part of this mature relationship is an intimacy with God that grows as we internalize our experiences with our Father. As we reflect with gratitude on how God constantly watches over our lives, how He shows us the right way – so lovingly and yet so clearly and unambiguously – how His love never diminishes, but can only be understood better and better, our relationship with our Father matures.

It is also beneficial for us to learn to know and love our Father as a friend and confidant, so that the various expressions of the one great love between God and us will unfold even more. Then we will talk to people about our Father and they will perceive the love between God and us.

Undoubtedly, this maturing relationship with our Father will help people in the world to be more open to Christ. Then we will be doing our part to fulfill Pope John Paul II’s exhortation to the world at the beginning of his pontificate:

“Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!”