June 16 – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The World’s Greatest Father Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers and spiritual fathers! Five weeks ago, we observed Mother’s Day and offered Mass for our moms. Today, on this Father’s Day, we are doing the same – offering our fathers, living or dead, on God, the Father’s altar, invoking our His blessings upon them.

Father’s Day is a special day to remember, acknowledge and appreciate the “World’s Greatest Father,” OUR HEAVENLY FATHER” (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6) Who is Our Spiritual Daddy, actively involved in all areas of our lives. It is He on Whom we lean in times of pain and hurt; it is He on Whom we call in times of need; it is He Who provides for us in all ways — physical, emotional, and spiritual. Many of us pray the “Our Father” day after day, without paying attention to, or experiencing, the love and providence of God. Let us pray the ‘Our Father’ during the Holy Mass, today and every day, realizing the meaning of each clause and experiencing the love of our God for us. May all earthly fathers draw strength from God, the Father!

 God, the Father, gave up His Only Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might be saved through him. God provides the perfect example of the very vocation of fatherhood. Fathers are called to sacrifice their lives for their families. They do this by being the spiritual leader and guardian of their families; praying for and with their families; being a courageous witness to the Gospel; providing care, support and security for their families; serving as an example of goodness and truth; leading with courage and accountability; and laying down their lives for their families. May God, the Father, grow in each man a seed of faith, courage, and love to be fathers who can put forth large branches so that their families can dwell in its shade just as the birds do under the shade of a mustard tree as its recounted in today’s Gospel.

On this day, let us also remember to pray for all priests, our spiritual fathers, especially here with us, Fr. Michael and Fr. Frank – men who are called to be fathers of an immensely large parish family through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. We also pray for the souls of Fr. Hugh and Fr. Don. We thank God for all the fathers! Happy Father’s Day!

Topher Otieno