Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
June 21, 2009
Fathers – An Image of God
When a couple is about to begin their family many thoughts go through their mind. There is no doubt that the woman’s thoughts are different from her husband’s but all good men and women probably share at least one thought, i.e., will they be capable of being good parents? Though they look at this situation from differing perspectives, nonetheless they think and wonder.
This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. A father’s role in the family is unique. It is unique because he is male and therefore his thinking process differs from his wife. With this gift he is able to bring a happy balance to the family. When a couple comes together in Faith, the father represents again a different perspective. In our Judeo-Christian faith we have come to know God as Father. At first, this may sound sexist to the ears of a woman. That is not the point however. We all know that God is a Spirit and has no gender but rather has the characteristics of both male and female.
Our Faith tradition has implanted a vision of God being male. Jesus himself always referred to God as Father. Since that time we have always prayed to God as Our Father. In reality this tradition only serves to put a considerable amount of responsibility on fathers of families. When children have negative experiences with their father they tend to shy away from God as Father. At times they turn from God altogether. There is a positive aspect of sharing the title Father with God however. It gives men a template by which to live. Let us look at this template upon which men can base their lives.
If a father wants to be a good father, all he has to do is read Scripture to see the qualities of God. In both the Old and New Testament we see God’s nature as being a God of Love, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, and faithfulness. We see God as possessing Wisdom, Fairness, and the ability to reprimand when love necessitates.
One could argue that not only Fathers should use this template. This is absolutely true. But, all too often the “softer” side of God is left to the mother. Scripture tells us that the father is no less an image of God. Men are not exempt from living according to this template solely because they are male. Perhaps what Scripture is telling us is that is takes a very “strong” man to live in God’s image. He must be strong yet sensitive, gentle and caring. A man has to straddle both sides of the fence. This is no easy task. Only the best men can accomplish this to the end. Only those men who live in true relationship with their God will have the ability to accomplish this task.
To all fathers of our parish, we wish a very Happy Father’s Day! We commend your good work, your faith, your love of family, your strength to persevere. May you grow in love, wisdom and courage. May you grow old surrounded by a loving family and respected by all who have come to know you.
Lorette P. Nault