As we were driving to Mass this morning, discussing what we were going to do as a family on this Father’s Day, my five-year-old son asked aloud:
“Mom, is there a Kids Day?”
I knew what was coming. My mother-in-law, God rest her soul, had fielded this question from my wife when she was younger and the answer remains as fresh in her mind today as the day she first heard her mother’s response all those years ago. My son’s question had scarcely left his lips a full second before my wife fired back in response: “Every day is Kids Day!”
We all laughed, but as I reflected upon my son’s question and my wife’s response today, it got me to thinking about God the Father, and how we as his children are blessed that every day is truly “Kids Day.”
We are children of God. As prayerful and faithful Catholics, we honor God every day, just as earthy children honor their fathers on Father’s Day. At Mass, we honor God the Father by reciting the “Our Father,” the prayer Jesus taught us. In that special prayer, we ask for our basic needs to be met, we ask for forgiveness and the ability to forgive others, we ask to be kept free from sin and anxiety and to be delivered from evil.
And God responds as only a loving Father would – with love, compassion and the commitment and desire to take care of us, his children, every day. That’s what we are doing as earthly fathers by loving our children and putting their needs before ours unselfishly and with gratitude for the gift of being a father.
I always get asked what my plans are for Father’s Day. Today, after Mass, I had lunch with my family, relaxed a little this afternoon while watching the U.S. Open, did some work around the house in preparation for the arrival of friends, then cooked out on the grill and enjoyed good food and fellowship with our friends and their children as we watched the end of the golf tournament.
A perfect Father’s Day!
Now, the children are in bed. I sit in silence writing and thinking about what a gift it is – as well as an awesome responsibility – to be a father. I think about all my father has done for me throughout my life and I am filled with gratitude. I think about all our priestly fathers do to live out their commissions as servants of God. And finally, I give praise and thanks to my heavenly Father, who knows my needs far beyond my ability to comprehend them, then responds with a love and compassion that gives me all I need to serve him and my family.
It’s my prayer that you all had a blessed and happy Father’s Day!