Today was Father's Day. My family and I spent time together for some delicious food and gifts. We had two fathers who were celebrating: Eddie, my son-in-law, and his stepdad Jim. Three birthdays were also celebrated: Alexandra, my granddaughter, Eddie and Jim. Some very appropriate gifts were chosen and received. Wonderful food and fun times were enjoyed by all.
Earlier, I was thinking about some famous fathers in the bible. At our Marana prayer group, we have been studying Genesis. Noah - the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth - was building the ark for 120 years. All the time Noah's neighbors were ridiculing him. They had never seen rain so how could they need a boat? What was a boat anyway? Meanwhile Noah and God were trying their best to convince the neighbors to repent (kind of like John the Baptist). No repentance unfortunately.
Abraham was father of Isaac and grandfather of Jacob. Several times Abe strayed from his journey, but finally kept his promises to God. Isaac had trust and confidence in God when he walked with his dad to Mount Moriah. He asked where the sacrifice was, knowing he was the sacrifice. Could you allow yourself to be tied up and placed on an altar to die? I don't think I could have let my dad tie me up, even though I loved him greatly.
Probably the most famous dad is Joseph, foster father of Jesus. Once the angel spoke to him, Joseph did not hesitate to become a model for all other fathers. God said take Mary for your wife, so he did. God said, go to Bethlehem - go to Egypt - come back. What patience and kindness he bestowed on all. I often picture him holding the stirrups of the Wise Men as they remounted their camels as I read in Poem of the Man God, by Maria Valtorta. Joseph was a humble servant. May more fathers be that way.
Cherish your father if he is still alive. Give him a huge hug and don't be afraid to say I love you. If your father is not alive, know he is safe in Heaven and deserving of all the love that is generated. Adopt a father if you can and bring him joy during the year. You also have a fantastic Father Who will never leave your side. Know He watches over you. Talk to Him personally. Accept the blessings when you hear an answer. I send gratitude to all priests in my life who have given me support, direction, and strength when I wandered far and needed to get back on track. You pastors are holy and pure in His Sight.
I had most of this written when I received a text from my granddaughter Alexandra. (Yes, we text each other, me at 72 and her at 17.) She asked me to pray for her friend Jeremy's dad today on Father's Day because Jeremy had been in a coma for awhile after a horrible auto accident and, as she said, God claimed another angel. Only 17, he would have graduated next year with her. How vital to say I love you often. Several of my women friends have lost children and they cannot cope for many years. It will be difficult for my granddaughter and Jeremy's dad to find solace tonight. May they feel Jesus' hand holding theirs as I so often do.