This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. I want to express our love and affection and support for all of our dads, living and deceased. Our prayer is that you will know great joy and happiness on this day and every day. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of his hand.
There are many in our society today who wish to minimize the importance of fathers. This has led to a crisis of fatherhood in our world today. One of the greatest wounds in the lives of many young men and women is referred to as the Father Wound. This is the absence of a strong, loving father figure in the life of a child.
This can be a biological father or an active involved grandfather or foster father or any other man who is invested in the life of a child. Children without a strong, healthy father are far more likely to grow up in poverty, to be physically or sexually abused, to fall into drug and alcohol use, and to end up on the wrong side of the law. I think we all recognize that the absence of a mother in a child’s life is traumatic and hurtful. The same is true of the lack of a father.
When Jesus was looking for an image to help us understand our God, the image he chose was “Abba,” or Father. As has been pointed out frequently, this word “Abba” is actually more along the lines of “Daddy” or “Dad” or “Pop.” It is a child’s term to refer to one’s father. His choice of that image was certainly influenced by his relationship with his father Joseph. (Joseph is often referred to as a step-father. He was actually an adoptive father. Mary called him Jesus’ father, so I do as well.) In my experience, those who lack a good relationship with a loving father struggle with a God who is intimate, close, loving, forgiving and powerful.
Most fathers are good men who love their children, who work hard to provide for their families, to support and assist their spouses in raising their children, who strive to be positive role models for the children, and to help their sons and daughters to grow up to be healthy, loving members of society.
Thank you to all of you dads, foster dads, step-dads, granddads, and all who seek to play a father’s role in the life of any child. May God bless you and fill you with his peace and love. And may those fathers who have passed away enjoy the perfect happiness, joy and peace of being face-to-face with our heavenly Father.
–Fr. Mike Comer