“What shall I render to the Lord for all his bounty to me?” (Ps 116:12).

If we were to meditate on these words of the Psalm and try to answer the question posed here, we would realise that it is impossible to repay our Father – not even remotely – for all His immeasurable love and care for us. It is always we who are honoured and blessed by Him! Even if we loved God with all our heart, His love would still be greater.

In fact, our Father does not even expect us to repay Him. So we will gladly remain His debtors and will always find a reason to testify to His love; we will always find new reasons to be more grateful and to praise His love even more.

But what our Father wants from us is simply that we take our rightful place as His beloved children, that we listen to Him and obey Him in trust, thus fulfilling the purpose of our existence. He is pleased with this and allows us to grow in His love.

If we live in this way, our Father can bring us into the order He has planned for all people. Then some of the disorder into which humanity has fallen and often continues to live will be healed.

Our Father turns to us and asks for our cooperation so that others can also take the place He has prepared for them in His love. In this way we become labourers in His vineyard of salvation, which He has established through His beloved Son.

And when we have done all this, “we have only done what was our duty” (Lk 17:10), as Jesus tells us. It is thanks to His inscrutable goodness that our Father counts this as merit when He rewards us. This is our Father!