Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The other day while in Adoration I was contemplating how great of a father God is. On this Father’s Day, I invite you, as we pray for our own father and all other fathers, to meditate on how God has been an amazing father to all of us, by providing, loving and protecting us.
When we recite the second part the “Our Father”, we ask God the Father to provide our “daily bread.” As a providing Father, God gives us our sustenance each day. He does not necessarily give us physical “bread”, as “man does not live on bread alone.” Instead, He provides nourishment for our souls whether by his word or by the Body and Soul of his Son. This food that God provides, is not merely symbolic, but rather it’s real food. Only by opening our minds and hearts to what the senses cannot fathom, we hear in the deepest part of your soul the words Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “Truly, truly, I say to you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you...For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. ” (6:53-57). The feast of Corpus Christi, which we also celebrate this weekend, was instituted as a sign to help the faithful adore Christ present in the Eucharist.
The following petition we ask God to be a loving Father. In order to “forgive us our transgressions”, He first has to love us. He who created us from nothing out of love, and loved us much to the point of giving us His only begotten Son, continues to love us. In spite of our continuous shortcomings, God is a Father that never gives up on us or grows tired with our sins. Quite the contrary, God’s love for us grows more each day.
In the last petition, we ask our Father to protect us against temptation and from every evil. Every father is called to protect his children from every source of danger. Some dangers come from ourselves, that is, they are internal. Many children have played at least once in the rain during a thunderstorm, or have stuck a metal object into a power outlet, or played with sharp objects and so on. We can get hurt very easily on our own. In the same way we can hurt ourselves through the temptations that we have. As harmless they may seem, like the activities recently described, they can get us killed. In front of these things we ask our Father to allow us to fall into temptation (sometimes the translation can be misleading). Other dangers are external and can greatly harm us. In the spiritual world, the devil is out there to get us. He only has one goal in mind that is to bring us to hell. Some people don’t believe in the devil or the influence that he can have on us and on the world, but it is as real as you and me. Therefore, we ask our heavenly Father to protect us from every evil.
We can continue this topic forever, but most importantly is to realize that our Father only wants what is best for us. He is always on our side. At times, He spoils us with spiritual gifts, such as graces, and physical ones, like sunsets, beautiful flowers, etc. Other times, He corrects to help us avoid hurting ourselves or others. Finally, on this Father’s Day, let us take some time, as we show our gratefulness to our earthly fathers, to realize how much our heavenly Father loves us. As the first tries to be good but due to their limitations and sinfulness cannot, the second is good “ALL THE TIME”, and “ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!”
God Bless You,
Father Steven Clemence