The first words of the first reading on the first day of Advent and the Church's new year are: "You, Lord, are our Father" (Is 63:16). No matter how bad things are, how far we have wandered from God's ways, and how hard we have made our hearts (Is 63:17), we have hope because God is our Father.
We are very sinful, and God is rightly angry (Is 64:4). "All of us have become like unclean men, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; we have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind. There is none who calls upon Your name, who rouses himself to cling to You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. Yet, O Lord, You are our Father" (Is 64:5-7).
When Jesus taught us to pray, He told us our first words should be "Our Father" (Mt 6:9). When Jesus was suffering His agony in the garden of Gethsemani, "He kept saying, 'Abba (O Father)' " (Mk 14:36). The Holy Spirit continually cries out in our hearts, "Abba" (Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15). Jesus came to reveal the Father's love (Jn 15:9). No matter what has happened in our lives, we have hope, for God is our Father.
Happy New Year! Happy Father's Day!