Happy Father’s Day to all dads and men who have been fatherly figures in our life! And how appropriate that Father’s Day this year falls on the Sunday we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is a celebration of the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Father’s Day celebrates the relationship of the father with his family.
Over the years of being a priest, I’ve come to realize that for some, Father’s Day or Mother’s Day evoke painful memories of past or current experience of an abusive or absent parent. For those of you for whom this is true, I pray for the healing of your memories, or if current, I pray for that parent to seek professional help. While we all have our faults and failings, and there is no “perfect” parent, a physically or emotionally abusive parent needs to be lovingly confronted to get help to understand the devastating consequences of their behavior on their spouse and children. Likely something of their own past needs to be healed so that an abusive parent can become a better parent, and model the bond between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As Jesus speaks about the Spirit that he will send his disciples, the description becomes a mini-discourse on the Trinity. Jesus pledges to the disciples that the Spirit will keep them aware of who he is. Jesus, who had already proclaimed that he is the truth, now promises that the Spirit will guide them to all truth. He says that everything that the Father has is his and promises that the Spirit will give them what belongs to him. If the pronouns have been confusing and you are not sure who “he” is, that is because the three of them are described as one. Jesus taught that he and the Father are one, and that everything that the Father has is his. Now, he says that his work will be carried on through the Spirit, who will share with the disciples what belongs to him – and therefore to the Father. In this Gospel, Jesus promises the Spirit as the energy or bond that will bring his disciples to share his own union with God. So, as God as Father loves the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, dads are called into that intimate relationship with God and their spouses and children. So, on this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the BEST in our dad. Let us be grateful for all they have done for us, and let them know of our gratitude. Let us pray for them that they will be faithful to their vocation. And for those of us (including myself) whose fathers are deceased, let us be thankful for good memories and pray they are at home with our Heavenly Father.
Happy Father’s Day!