We celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16th, 2019. We think of the strength of a father, his guiding hand, his wisdom, his help. God the Father gave up his only Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might be saved through him. He provides an example of the very vocation of fatherhood.
Fathers are to sacrifice their lives for their families.
They do this by:
• Being the spiritual leader and guardian of their families.
• Praying for and with their families.
• Being a courageous witness to the Gospel.
• Providing care and support for their families.
• Serving as an example of goodness and truth.
• Leading with courage and accountability.
• Laying down one’s life for another.
Today, in a special way, let us be grateful for:
• Our fathers, by birth or adoption, who love us and support us through life.
• Our Church leaders, who take on the paternal role of guiding us through life.
• And God our Father, who will always teach justly and grant us boundless mercy.
Reading: Luke 15: 11-32: Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”
Reflection: The Prodigal Son is a reading most people are very familiar with. For today’s reflection, think of Dad. Note in Luke’s Gospel he says “While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.” Reflect on the thousands of times a father waits in vigil. Whether a son coming back from school, a daughter from her first dance, a child serving in the armed forces: the gift of our fathers always waiting and watching over us.
Happy Father’s Day