Ordinary Time, 11th Sunday (B) What would you wish for if you only had one wish? I know exactly what I would wish for: that men would be good fathers. About 90% of the issues that wander in my office can be traced back to men who failed to be good fathers. We have a severe crisis of childhood, which is rooted in a crisis of fatherhood and motherhood.

The crisis of fatherhood came from a rejection of God's fatherhood. Men will only be good fathers to the extent that they are willing to be obedient sons of their Heavenly Father. Sometimes we see God as an authoritative father who is always disappointed, or an absent father who is never there for his children. God loves us unconditionally, but he also challenges us to be the best that we can be.

God takes young men and helps them grow into strong men and caring fathers. We, too, must help our young boys grow into men and our men grow into fathers. Today's Gospel speaks to the men who are trying hard to be good fathers but don't seem to be having an impact on their children or on society. The words that fathers speak are like seed planted in the soil. You cannot possibly know when they will grow and bear fruit. The mustard bush is like the good example of a father; it spreads imperceptibly but is unstoppable.

God has made us stewards of His most precious gift: the gift of human life. We must protect and defend the value of every human life. Father's Day is not just a day to celebrate fathers. It is also a day to call men to be obedient sons of God the Father and good fathers to God's children.

(16 June 2024)

Going Deeper: Do your words and example build up or tear down the dignity of God's children? Who has helped you to realize the true meaning of Christian fatherhood?

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