Comer_Michael_7955-180We all want to offer a very Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, living and deceased. You are all in our prayers and our thoughts today. We are very grateful to you for all that you have done for us, your children, and we pray that you will know every possible joy and blessing this day.

In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us the new name for God. The former name was Yahweh, the great and sacred name that was never to be spoken, which means I Am Who Am. The new name that Jesus taught us to use to speak to God was “Abba,” “Father.” As such, every father becomes an icon of God the Father revealing to us, ideally, the twofold nature of God who is both transcendent and imminent.

The transcendence of God speaks of his great majesty and glory. God is the creator of the universe, and as such, is greater than the universe he has created. He is the God of power and might. For a child, this is symbolized by the strength and power of his or her father. Dad is the mighty and powerful one (“my dad can beat up your dad”). Dad is the greatest and most powerful person that the child knows.

The imminence of God speaks of God’s closeness, his nearness to us. God has entered into our world and into our realm. God cares about our little problems and concerns. He knows us, loves us, protects us, and provides for us. This is symbolized by the child’s relationship to Father as well. (I am not denying Mom’s role in all of this, but you had your day a few weeks ago. Let the old man have his day in the sun.)

The image of Father, of Abba, is capable of holding these two great realities together at one time—God is awesome and powerful, and God is near and tender.

Our culture all too often disparages or diminishes the role of fathers, and we are reaping the whirlwind because of that. Every child needs to have a loving, active and present father in his or her life, and the absence of such a father leaves what is often referred to as a “Father Wound.” As such, we must regain an appreciation for fathers and encourage young men to be the best fathers that they can be.

Thank you, all of you fathers, for your hard work, your faithfulness and commitment, and for your love.

— Fr. Mike Comer