Homily by Fr. Paul Plante
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 16, 1985
If God has blessed you with the privilege of fatherhood, how do you want to be remembered as a father? As a son or daughter, what are your most precious memories of your father? If you grew up in the absence of a father, is there somebody in this life whom you became attached to as a father figure. I have also seen situations where people have been influenced by several good people who became important father images for them.
And if, unfortunately you have been hurt by an oppressive or abusive father, have you been able to look beyond human frailty and see how good God is in wanting to be remembered as a gentle and caring father to us all?
I sometimes wonder if we would not respond better to a Parent’s Day – having both mothers and fathers – not to separate the complimentary virtues and qualities that can only be found when parenthood is not divided. It might be too much to absorb in one feast or the individual characteristics might be overlooked.
From my own family to a multitude of parishioners and friends, without overlooking a number of priests and brothers at school and seminary who cared as fathers do, I have so often been impressed –touched by a love that is seldom showy, but still sincere – not always easily expressed but still evident, sometimes strict at first sight but so easily turns to tenderness.
No matter how angry I made my father, I knew he would soon forget it. No matter how harshly he sometimes reprimanded me, I knew he would be back to laughing and back to his old self within a half hour.
And how wonderful it has been to see all of these wonderful characteristics of God’s love in so many fathers – to be able to bring into this world very concrete examples of God’s parenthood.
Fathers, you have a special gift – a special way of making this a better world where God’s love is evident. Be good fathers. Reflect God. That is quite a vocation! We certainly cannot ask for more.