When we are born into this world, we are born with a built-in dignity. We are, from the moment of our conception, sons or daughters. We descend from our parents as they did from their parents; therefore, we are descendants. We are created from our parent’s very selves, from what makes them be, and by means of this essence, we are connected to the previous generations all the way back to the beginning of it all. We are the inheritors of all history and the torch bearers for the light of knowledge and wisdom passed down through the ages... And all this comes from being sons or daughters. As believers, we know God gave us this dignity. He made it all, that we may always be a family and that knowledge of Him may be passed down through the generations. It has been a foundational part of God’s plan from the very start. We were told to go out to the world and fill it.
And while we fill the world, we are meant to faithfully create, raise, and guide our families in the teachings of our Lord.
And this is so that the new generations may keep the faith and obtain the fruit from their efforts.
We are called sons (and daughters)… The word “son,” etymologically speaking, is related to the word “sewn,” as in knitted or “put together with string.” We have heard this before...
Our sonhood, our natural dignity from our human lineage, originates from God. We must strive to remember this.
When we were children, we understood inherently that so much of our identity came from our life in the family, from that line that connects us to the traditions of the past. As we grew older, most of us wanted to assert more of our individuality. Most of us grow to want to choose our path. Some of us, rebelliously, move away from our families and traditions and even forget our dignity as sons and daughters of God. This is not uncommon, even from biblical times. Do you remember the Prodigal Son?
So many of us are like the Prodigal Son. We squander our spiritual inheritance. In our haste to become independent, we forget our traditions. We turn our back to our families and to our identity as sons and daughters of God. If we see our sonhood as just a stage in life, as a phase we must go through and grow out of in our search for individuality and meaning, then we completely miss the point. We are exactly like the Prodigal Son. Our sonhood is not a stage in life or a phase we go through and grow out of; it is an intrinsic human and natural state, a gift from God’s plan for us that we cannot grow out of. It does not matter where we are in life; we never cease to be sons or daughters. It is where we come from, and God acknowledges that dignity. He is always waiting for us to return, but we have to take that first step on the journey back to who God calls us to be.
And this is the importance of our sonhood, that because we are sons and daughters, because of that dignity inherent to our lineage, we have access, through Christ, to our Heavenly Father. It is through the gift of the dignity of sonhood that we were sent our Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son, firstborn and our most perfect brother, Christ, so that we may be redeemed.
Let me share a little personal story. Most of the time, I wear two rings, the ring from my wife on my left hand, reminding me I am a husband, and a ring on my right hand from my father, reminding me I am a son... I do not remember when it started, but the last few times my father visited, he took a ring right off his right hand and gifted it to me. For me, there is no mistaking it. It is not a ring that was bought for me, unused, and in a gift box, but a ring that was his and he wore... he gave me his very own ring. I know it was probably unintentional on my father’s part, but for me, this spur-of-the-moment present of his represents giving to me from his very self, acknowledging my dignity as his son, and I can’t get over how Eucharistic this is. Is not that how our Heavenly Father gives to us? From His very self, he gives to us. Through Jesus in the Eucharist, He acknowledges our dignity as His sons and daughters.
May we all return to our Father in repentance and ask for the full restoration of our sonhood. May we receive our Father’s ring, just like the Prodigal Son, so that restored to our life in Him, we are constantly reminded of who we are, in Him who loves us.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we are your children. Help us to acknowledge You in our lives. Help us to embrace our sonhood and be ever reminded of our dignity as Your very own, that we may glorify You in all that we do and wherever we go. Amen.