HONORING FATHER’S DAY Submitted by Deacon Jerry Brennan
In a little over a week we celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. These bookends provide a practical and a spiritual backdrop for Father’s Day.
On June 6, 1944 the largest amphibious assault in the history of the world, the landing at Normandy began. Operation Over Lord as it was called, was to paraphrase Winston Churchill, was not the end, but it was the beginning of the end of World War II in the European Theater. While the actual assault began on June 6 the years of preparation, the feigned assaults in other areas, the bombardments, the resistance activities and others led to a successful assault.
Some of you fought in these or other wars, some of us witnessed the effects of war on our dad or uncles who survived. But there is a reason that the men who served in World War II are called the greatest generation. They grew up in the Great Depression, often with insufficient food, maybe raggedy cloths and a leaky roof in a cold tenement flat. They went out and fought selflessly.
They returned from the war and got married and had families. In fact, many of them had large families. With their foundation in the Depression and the War they, like John F. Kennedy, asked not what the country could do for them but what they could do for the country and most especially their families. These dads scrimped and saved. They lived in small homes with a single car and they taught us faith and values. They were at the front of the Civil Rights Movement and other social changes that grew in the 1950s and 1960s that made this a better more moral country.
Few of these dads are left and the few that are left are either granddads or even great granddads. But they witnessed to us what a dad, a father should be. Hopefully we learned the quiet lessons of self-sacrifice and love. Hopefully we can teach the next generation and the following generations that same message that was taught to us with such great self-sacrifice.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. We often dismiss this great mystery, three persons in one God, by saying it is a mystery. While none of us can truly comprehend the immensity of an infinite, all-knowing ever-present God. While god revealed himself to Moses as I AM. Jesus also revealed himself by say-ing “God is love.” John 4:8. In some mysterious way these three persons are joined together by perfect love. Jesus does the Father’s will. Jesus teaches us the Our Father. Jesus is one with the Father.
Jesus teaches that we should be one with the Father because the Father is in all things perfect.
We earthly fathers are far from perfect. Even the greatest generation had to deal with post-traumatic stress and other problems.
Dads, let us admit our weaknesses and ask the heavenly Father for strength. Moms and kids let us acknowl-edge our dads’ humanity and accept their imperfections and pray to the heavenly Father for strength and grace.
Dads, whatever your occupation, whether a doctor or a warehouseman. Whether you are the brightest or not. Whether a great athlete or not, the greatest gift we can give our kids and our wife is to live in a way that they can see the heavenly Father in some mystical way in the way that we love and live. Have a blessed