Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Abba's Day

In the U.S., Father's Day is celebrated on June 15th, the same day the Church honors The Most Holy Trinity. No doubt, the focus of the liturgy will upon the Holy Trinity, yet earthly fathers and the men who play a fatherly role in the lives of children will be recognized with affection at Mass. As with any holiday, secular or religious, there are quiet pangs of emptiness for those who have lost someone that would have been a big part of the special day. On Father's Day, families will be seen walking into church or the local diner, hand-in-hand, laughing and teasing one another. To all who recognize a father in the group, a smile will be offered with the greeting of "Happy Father's Day!" For people who have lost a father due to death, or as is often the case, by choice - there can sometimes be the feeling that the day cannot end fast enough. We recently celebrated Mother's Day in May, and I am certain there were many who missed that special woman in their lives, no longer at the family table during celebrations. Haven't we all had countless occasions when something special happens and we reach for the phone, only to realize that we can no longer call them on the phone to share a bit of good news?

Image by arztsamui/

By the Grace of God, we as Christians have a direct connection to our family in Heaven - the Communion of Saints. It is always our hope that our loved ones on earth will one day join the heavenly angels and saints, yet we humans still mourn our loss on earth.  It is no coincidence that Christ gave His mother to the Church through John, for safe keeping. She is our mother in Heaven, always interceding for us and drawing us closer to her Son. In turn, Christ certainly caused quite a stir by referring to God as Abba! He even gave us a model for prayer to His Father! On this Father's Day, I'd like to remind all who read this and miss their earthly father, or do not have a father in their life for another reason, that you DO have a father. Your Father in Heaven loves you immeasurably, will never give up on you, is slow to anger and rich in kindness. So if you have no father to buy a gift for or make a telephone call to, never yield to despair. Ask God to comfort your heart, and fill any void. He made everything in the world and beyond for YOU. Sure, earthly dads help you learn to ride a bike, and help put food on the table, but your Heavenly Father gave you the world.

God, our Father,
we ask that you bless all men
who are fathers on earth to your children.
In a special way, we think of those who
no longer have a father in their lives. Hold them in your arms 
when they long for a fatherly embrace, protect them and keep them
as only a loving father can. We also pray for boys and men 
who are not yet fathers, but will be some day. 
May they teach their children to know your Divine love, 
and to trust in your Providence until they are reunited with 
you in paradise one day. We ask these things in the name
of your Son, Jesus Christ.


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