This Sunday we celebrate the great solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body, and Blood of Christ. We focus especially on this day on the devotion to the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, a faith rooted in community. And as a faith community, the Archdiocese of Atlanta celebrated its Eucharistic Congress this weekend, with parishioners participating from parishes throughout the Archdiocese.
This Sunday we also celebrate Father’s Day and we remember in a special way all that dads mean to their children. We are reminded that many of our parishioners are also fathers. Being a father is a great privilege and also a great responsibility. Catholic fathers especially are challenged to set a good example for their children, to help them grow in wisdom and knowledge, and to help prepare them for lives as Catholic men and women. We must remember that we are called to honor our fathers. Our love for our fathers and our other family members should reflect the love that God has for us.
As we know, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis and focus on fatherhood. As noted in a recent publication “5 Wise Pieces of Advice from Pope Francis to Fathers”, prepared by Chloe Langr, Pope Francis stated, “A father needs to be close to the children when they are playing and when they are working on a task; when they are carefree and when they are troubled.” He also stated, “Fathers are the irreplaceable guardians and mediators of faith in the justice, and the protection of God, like Saint Joseph.” In addition, he noted that “the Church, our mother, is committed to supporting the good and generous presence of fathers in the families.”
The following “Father’s Day Prayer” from an unknown author asks the Lord to bless and guide all fathers. As we reflect on this prayer, and on the profound words of Pope Francis, we are encouraged to take time to express our love and appreciation for our fathers and thank them for all that they do for us and for all that they mean to us.
Dear God, I give thanks to fathers.
I recognize the dedication and patience it takes to be a source of compassion and understanding when helping to shape a young life.
Bless all fathers,
especially those who are now in this sacred role.
I pray they feel Your presence with them.
May they know that Your strength and wisdom are with them,
providing all they need to guide and support their children with kindness and love. Amen.