Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name

“Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice”

(Ephesians 3:14 - 19)"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

On this weekend when we stop the frenetic pace of life to honor and remember fathers, we have an opportunity to reflect on what really matters most in our lives. The ones who have "named" us, our fathers, have helped to give us our identity. They are a gift to be received and we should thank them. They are also a sign of the very Fatherhood of God.

"Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundation for freedom, security and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society" (2207). Thus, there is a direct relationship between the well being of the family and true freedom.

What are fathers being called upon to do today?

Fathering is a great gift and a great responsibility. It cannot be lived in its fullness without grace, the Divine Life of God which is given to us through Jesus Christ and mediated through our life in His church, in Word and Sacrament. In the Holy Eucharist we receive the One who is the Source and means of all grace.

Fathers need to speak the truth about our relationships and defend that truth against those who are perverting it. It seems to me that this is what fathers are being called to do today, that this is how we share in God's fatherhood.

Fathers also need to sustain what is right and good in their families. Perhaps the best thing fathers can do for their families and society is to nurture their relationship with God and develop a devout prayer life. They can also defend motherhood by sustaining the dignity of motherhood and motivating others to do so. And they can love their children's mother like Christ loves his Church.

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