Next Sunday is Father’s Day and we are provided with a great opportunity to reflect on how we see and understand the concept of “father”. Beyond any procreative aspects of what ‘father’ may mean depending on the culture, ‘father’ could mean leader, head of family, bread-winner, protector, worker, fixer, teacher, disciplinarian, guide, comforter, strength or problem-solver to mention a few. As Catholics we firmly believe that we have two fathers, one earthly/biological, and one heavenly/spiritual. For some of us our father is one of the most influential and significant people in our lives. He may be the one person we can always turn to when we need support and guidance. Ask yourself the questions “How influential and significant is my spiritual Father, GOD, in my life? Is He the One I turn to when I need support and guidance?” He has played a greater role in our lives from the first moment of our birth than our earthly father. We owe far more allegiance, loyalty, obedience and love to Him than anyone we shall ever encounter. How often do we realize this and express it to Him? We constantly speak about ‘creating a personal relationship with God’ and most often that refers to God the Son, Jesus Christ, because we should be able to identify more with His humanity. When we celebrate the Eucharist and at that moment in time when the celebrant speaks the words of consecration and lifts the Body and Blood of Christ high above his head for all to see, he is offering this Ultimate Sacrifice to God the Father, just as Christ did when He died on the cross. What is your prayer to the Father when you join with the celebrant in offering this sacrifice at Mass? Do you have one? Do you look up to see the action of the celebrant? Next Sunday, on the day we Americans set aside to honor our fathers let’s not forget that we Catholics have two fathers and we must honor our spiritual Father first. When you join in the celebration of the Eucharist next Sunday offer up your honor and love to God, our Father, and thank Him for giving us His Only Son as our Redeemer. His gifts to us, first in the Person of His Son and then in our own gift of faith are the means for us to restore our life with God as at creation. He intended it always to be that way and we should express our gratitude to Him for these gifts. Then live our lives in that gratitude, loving Him and one another as He has loved us. Blessings to all the fathers in our parish and please continue to pray for me as I do for you.
Pastor’s Points is a bi-weekly feature about faith, family, and life, from our pastor, Father James Flynn. It is published in our parish bulletins, as well.