All fatherhood comes from God the Father who created everything that is good, that it might lead us back to God, the source of perfect goodness. God is the Eternal Father because he breathed forth his Divine Word, through whom he made all things. This Divine Word is his only begotten Son who took on our human nature through Mary, when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her as his spouse.
When a father grows in communion with God through Jesus Christ, he shares in the glory of God and orders his life and time for the good of his wife and their children, despite the storms and pressures of life.
The first reading today reminds us of God’s care for us, his faithful people: “You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians and how I bore you up on eagle wings and brought you here to myself. Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my special posses-sion, dearer to me than all other people, though all the earth is mine. You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.” Cf. Exodus, 19:2-6a
And how does God show this care to us in the New Testament covenant? St. Paul reveals this by writing that Jesus had, “indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” And when was Jesus raised? On a Sunday, a time of worship, rest and enjoyment among family and friends.
All fathers, biological and spiritual, are called to die to themselves and live for God and others, beginning with their family. We are called to offer our sacrifices and ourselves to God through the Holy Mass every Sunday when possible, since our baptism makes us sharers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
When we pray the “Our Father” with Jesus Christ first thing in the morning, we are honoring God the Father and growing in our priestly fatherhood. We are calling down blessings and protection upon our family and thus partially fulfilling our role as spiritual leaders of the family. At Holy Mass, all our good deeds, prayers and praise are being made perfect through that sacred time of Mass with Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When a father prays the “Hail Mary” he is providing an example of honoring Mary and all women, especially the fe-male members of his own family.
The two main roles of a father are to provide and to protect. Fathers help provide and maintain the home and make sure the door is locked. My dad would remind my mom to lock the door anytime she was home alone. Now, they are both age 85 and they lock their door even when they are home alone by themselves.
Fathers, we really need to talk to our families about praying every morning and night, and become aware of the physical and spiritual dangers around us. The way we are going to increase protection of our families and provide opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God is to increase our love and service of God, our family and our Church.
I was happy to invite many men and women to participate in the Synodal Evangelization program initiated by the Arch-diocese to increase God’s Kingdom of grace, life, love, truth and peace. Unfortunately, many had to say “no” because of their situation in life, but many were able to step forward to help with this Archdiocese-wide Parish Synodal Evangelization program by forming a team with me and the Archbishop, the Shepherd of our local church.
Kate Ludwig, Jeremy Keller, Calvin Peterson, Eric and Micayla Ryan, Chris Poncelet, Charlie Dicke and Joel Gadient finished a five-hour session all directed by the Archdiocese to invite and welcome others to become fully activated disciples within the Catholic Church. I am so grateful for their generous response and have been in-spired by their growing faith, hope and love that they want to share with others.
They have been called and are willing to help form small groups so that our Catholic faith can reach more lives and sustain more people, much like the early Catholic Church. The early church members would worship in the Temple daily, but also worship God in their homes.
St. Paul in his divinely inspired letters wrote about how there is one God and Father of all who works through all in various ways, and in various degrees, depending upon the level of faith. Yet, this was all for the ordering of the worship of God through, with and in Jesus Christ and his Church to bring about the natural and supernatural blessings of all who would receive them with humble and grateful hearts.
He compares the Church to the human body, in which each body part is important. Not everyone can be the head, nor the hands, nor the ears, but we all must have a heart and soul that is focused on following Jesus Christ within the particular role and calling God has for each of us. Jesus is the divine head of our Church, parish and family, and the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect disciple of Christ. She exemplifies our call to discipleship, which includes these five things:
1. Daily prayer – individually, and with your family when possible.
2. Weekly worship – Saturday/Sunday Mass, but can include Eucharistic Adoration.
3. Service for the glory of God and the protection of human dignity – advocating for the most vulnerable in our society: the preborn baby, the sick, the elderly, the immigrant, the con-fused.
4. Discipleship – being a student follower of Jesus Christ within his Catholic Church by studying our Catholic Christian faith with others.
5. Welcoming and Evangelization – inviting people to walk with you in growing in the faith such as inviting them to Eucharistic Adoration and Confession, joining a small group, and if they are not Catholic but are interested in becoming a Catho-lic, becoming their sponsor in the process of the Order of Initiation for Adults, formerly known as RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults).
Jesus said it well in today’s Gospel: “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the har-vest to send out laborers for his harvest.” The Spirit is helping us form small groups to help with the planning, nurturing and harvesting of the blessings of God, our heavenly Father.
Peace in Christ, Fr. Thomas McCabe