Monday, June 14, 2010

Synopsis of O. T. XIII Sunday (June 27th) Homily on Luke 9: 51-62:

Introduction: Today’s readings are about God’s call and man’s commitment to answer that call. They ask for total commitment in total freedom with spirit of patient love, saying an unconditional 'Yes' to Jesus and to Christian life as a true disciples of Christ.
Scripture lessons: The first reading describes how Elisha committed himself whole-heartedly to answer God’s call to be a prophet, in spite of his initial hesitation when God called him through the prophet Elijah. The responsorial psalm, “You are my inheritance, O Lord," has traditionally been used to exemplify commitment to the ordained ministry or to religious profession. But it more accurately reflects the commitment made by all Christians in their baptism. The second reading, from the epistle to the Galatians, reinforces the message of commitment of the first reading and the responsorial psalm and warns that true freedom is not a license for self-indulgence, but to show our commitment to God and His service. The first part today’s gospel is Jesus’ teaching on Christian tolerance after observing the angry response of two of his apostles. James and John were angry and asked Jesus to destroy the Samaritans by bringing down fire from heaven when they refused to receive Jesus as a prophet and give him hospitality as he travelled through Samaria to Jerusalem. In the second part of today’s gospel, Luke introduces three potential disciples who offered lame reasons why Jesus’ call to ministry was “impossible” for them to accept when Jesus told them plainly the commitment required and the cost involved. They were found unfit and unprepared for following Jesus as his disciples. We too, are asked to follow Jesus totally and immediately, without any reservation, by giving priority to him and his cause and by surrendering our lives to God in humble and dedicated service of others.
Life messages: 1) As Christians we should have the courage of our convictions to honor our commitments.
a) Honor the marriage commitment. The spouses are expected to honor their marriage commitment to remain in mutual love and respect till their death and to raise their children zealous Christians.
b) Honor the priestly and religious commitment: The priests and the religious should honor the commitment they made to obey their lawful superiors, to keep their vows and to spend their lives serving God’s people faithfully.
c) Honor the Christian commitment: As Christians all of us should honor our baptismal commitment to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior to obey his law of love and bear witness to him through ideal and transparent Christian lives.

XIII SUNDAY: JUNE 27: I KINGS 19: 16, 19-21; GAL 5: 1, 13-18; LUKE 9: 51-62

Anecdotes: Commitment of Mormon missionaries: Many of us have seen Mormon missionaries riding their bicycles, wearing dark pants, white shirts and ties. Let me tell you more about their life-style. They do not see their families during the two years of their mission service. They are allowed to call home only on Christmas and Mother's Day. Their work day begins at 6:30 AM with an hour of Bible study and prayer. Then they work until 9:30 PM. They have about an hour to do laundry and study scripture before lights out. This is their schedule six days per week. No TV or movies or dates for two years. We have seen young men with multi-million dollar pro basketball contracts put all that on hold until they fulfill their mission obligation. Although I have some serious and fundamental theological differences with the Mormons, I can't deny the commitment of their young missionaries. Perhaps that commitment is a key reason why their numbers are growing so rapidly in the United States. Today’s readings are about God’s call and the commitment expected from us to answer that call.
# 2: The Cost of Discipleship: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian, wrote a series of reflections on the Sermon on the Mount entitled The Cost of Discipleship, in which he maintained that discipleship requires us to make a fundamental decision to follow Jesus and to accept the consequences of that decision. His own religious convictions led him to stand up to the tyranny of Nazi Germany and to participate in a plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. The plot was uncovered, Bonhoeffer was apprehended, and the ultimate “cost” of discipleship was exacted of him. He was hanged by the Nazis on April 9, 1945. While discipleship might force some people to decide between life and death, few of us will be asked to pay that ultimate price. But today’s gospel challenges us to live in a certain way imitating the prophetic vocation of Jesus (
Dianne Bergant C. S. A.).
# 3: On Christian tolerance: The best commentary on the first part of today’s gospel is a story about Abraham Lincoln, who was the finest and most spiritual of all the American presidents. During the Civil War, Lincoln was often criticized for not being severe enough on the soldiers of the South. On one occasion after a battle, a general from the North asked him, “Why didn’t you destroy the enemy when you had the chance? President Lincoln answered with words adapted from the today’s gospel passage: “Do I not destroy my enemy by making him my friend?” That is exactly what Jesus tells us in today’s gospel: destroy our enemies by making them our friends. No doubt the feelings of anger and resentment run deep in many hearts today, and we wouldn’t mind if people who hurt us deeply were punished or suffered from bad luck. Jesus, however, says: “That is not my Spirit”-- let me heal your heart.
Introduction: Today’s readings are about God’s call and man’s commitment to answer that call. The first reading describes how Elisha committed himself whole-heartedly to answer God’s call to be a prophet, in spite of his initial hesitation when God called him through the prophet Elijah. The responsorial psalm, “You are my inheritance, O Lord," has traditionally been used to exemplify commitment to the ordained ministry or to religious profession. But it more accurately reflects the commitment made by all Christians in their baptism. The second reading, from the epistle to the Galatians, reinforces the commitment message of the first reading and the responsorial psalm. In today’s gospel, Luke introduces some potential disciples who offered a variety of reasons as to why Jesus’ call to ministry was “impossible” for them to accept. By analyzing their excuses and Jesus’ responses to them, each of us is challenged to examine to what extent the alibis we offer to escape responsible ministry in the Church have any merit. We, too, are asked to follow Jesus totally and immediately, without any reservation, by giving up everything we have and surrendering our lives to God in the service of others.
The first reading: I Kings 19: 16, 19-21: Elijah was able to preach to kings and overcome the false prophets, until the queen, Jezebel, became angry with him (1 Kings 18-19.) Then he fled the kingdom and returned to the Lord to resign his commission. But God did not accept his resignation. Instead, He told Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor and co-worker. In the early history of salvation the 'mission' of being a Prophet was passed on from one prophet to another. Sometimes the prophet had a token or symbol of his ministry. In the case of Elijah this was a cloak, which he threw over Elisha. [When he was being taken up in the fiery chariot, Elijah would pass that cloak on to Elisha.] Elisha’s response was, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.” Elijah replied, in effect, “Why are you giving me excuses? I’m not the One calling you!” Elisha accepted the rebuke and to show his repentance and total commitment to God’s call, he slaughtered the twelve yoke of oxen he had been using for his plowing, cooked their flesh (using the yoke and harness as fuel), and used the meat as a meal for those who depended upon him. Elisha – who became Elijah's successor – left everything behind him and committed himself to his prophetic role. In the Church, the ministry of prophecy is not reserved to a few but is a commission for all those who are reborn into Christ. When at baptism the priest anoints those to be baptized, he announces: "I anoint you as priest, prophet, and king." This is to remind us that our prophetic mission consists in our becoming God's voice in our community and in our society. We are to be the conscience of the community. Where we see injustice in our community, in our society, in our families and especially in our own selves, we are compelled by our baptism to change our own conduct, and if necessary, to raise our voice in God's name, so that God's word may be made present at every moment.
The second reading: Gal 5: 1, 13-18: In his letter to the Christians in Galatia, Paul reminds all ministers of the good news that the criterion by which they are to measure themselves is the very spirit of God. Paul also clarifies that true freedom consists in conforming ourselves to the likeness of Jesus Christ and listening to the voice of God. Paul says: “Do not use your freedom, brothers and sisters, as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, use it to serve one another through love.” We begin to be free when we begin the process of commitment. Our freedom is realized only when we give ourselves away in love. Instead of living a life of self-indulgence, one who follows Jesus accepts a ministry of service that is rooted in loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. Christian freedom may be defined like this: “I am my commitment to God. I will live my commitment, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, until I die.” Paul seems rather exasperated at having to remind his hearers of the obvious: living the new life of freedom in the Spirit means abandoning the old ways of sin. The "lust of the flesh" should be understood not only in a sexual sense, but as referring to all worldly impulses that are opposed to true love of neighbor.
Exegesis: The rejection by the Samaritans: Today’s gospel passage deals with the beginning of Jesus’ journey from the northern towns of Galilee to the southern city of Jerusalem through the land of Samaria. Jesus encountered obstacles both from prospective disciples who wanted to postpone their commitment until a more convenient time, and from the Samaritans. The Jews and Samaritans shared a common origin in the twelve tribes of Israel. But they hated each other and refused to intermingle or intermarry because of a long-standing historic conflict between the two nations dating back to the eighth century B.C., after the Assyrian conquest of the Jews. Even under Assyrian rule, the Samaritans claimed to have maintained proper worship in their land, with Mount Gerazim as the center of their religious life. They argued that it was the Jews who had compromised their religious beliefs during their Babylonian exile. The Jews, on the other hand, with the Temple of Jerusalem as the center of their religious life, accused Samaritans of having lost their religious and racial identity through intermarriage with their pagan neighbors. They even considered Samaritans as heretical and false worshipers of the God of Israel, and detested them far more than they detested the pagans. To get to Jerusalem, Galileans had either to go through Samaria or to take a longer, more difficult route east of the Jordan River. Jesus chose the short cut through Samaria. But the Samaritans both refused to honor Jesus as a prophet, and violated the sacred duties of hospitality. This infuriated the apostles and two of them, James and John, asked Jesus if he wanted them to command fire to come down from heaven and consume the Samaritans as Elijah had done (II Kings 1:9-12). Jesus rebuked them, however, because he was not a destroyer but a Savior with a message of mercy and love.
The call and excuses: The response of Jesus to the three would-be followers described in the second part of today’s gospel, (vv 57-62), exemplifies the wholehearted constancy and sacrificial ministry that the Christian mission requires. We are surprised at Jesus’ sharp response to the first man’s willing discipleship. Probably Jesus saw more deeply into the man’s heart than we do. Jesus is simply honest about the demands and the cost of a commitment we might make too lightly and a journey we might undertake too easily. “Let the dead bury their dead”: This response may sound too harsh. But this man’s father was not dead or sick. He simply wished to stay with his father until his death. Jesus knew that later he would find another reason to delay the call. Jesus did not want another would-be follower to go home and bid farewell to his dear ones. Hence Jesus rebukes him saying that the plowman must look ahead rather than back. Looking back while plowing causes crooked lines in the field. We see classical cases of initial reluctance and lame excuses in accepting God’s call from Moses (Exodus 3: 1, 4: 10), Gideon (Judges 6: 15), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6), and Isaiah (Isaiah 6: 5). Hence we should be slow to condemn those who offer excuses in the service of the Lord and offer them proper motivation, support, and encouragement.
Life messages: 1) We need to honor our marriage commitment. As in the case of Elisha and the apostles, our commitment becomes our life. But today, more than ever, people make commitments too easily and then break them. This is the age of the lack of true commitment. The problem today is not that people are living together without being married; the problem is that they do not have the courage to make the commitment of marriage. In recent years, the age of marriage has increased by more than three years in the West– more than 10%. Modern people find many excuses for delaying marriage: “Well, let’s get good jobs and financial security first.” Another familiar excuse is: "I want to be free to come and go as I please!” Another excuse for delaying marriage is: “Let’s live together first. We’ll see if we’re compatible!” But the fact is that the longer unmarried couples live together, the more they experience their incompatibility!
2) We need to pray to solve the crisis in priestly commitment. We all know there is a tremendous shortage of priests and religious men because our young people are unwilling to make commitments to God by committing themselves to life-long celibacy, to a diocese or to the vowed life of a religious community. The argument, “I don’t want to make that commitment because I don’t want to give everything away," shows an incorrect notion of Christian freedom. We begin to be free only when we start the process called commitment, and our freedom is realized only when we give ourselves away in love. Unfortunately, like those three would-be followers, a lot of our youngsters are still confused and ill-prepared for any kind of mission for their lives. As a result, they become adept at evading Christ’s call to discipleship.
3) We are invited to a Christian life of patient love. The first part of today’s gospel gives us the greatest passage in the Bible concerning tolerance, which is really patient love, our “bearing with” one another. Quick anger over little incidents flares up all the time – between parents and children, in the workplaces between co-workers and in the neighborhood between neighbors. Very often the anger explodes over nothing. The Spirit of Jesus is opposed to such feelings. Although Elijah called down the fires of God from heaven to wipe out the four hundred prophets of Baal Jesus refused to have fire cast on the Samaritans who refused him entry. Hence let us have this beautiful prayer in our hearts and on our lips: “Create in me a clean heart. O God, and put a new and a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of loving.”
4) We need to pray for strength to honor all our commitments. We are here this morning because, in one way or another, we have said to Jesus, “I will follow you.” But the truth of the matter is that most of us don't want to follow Jesus because we want him to follow us. Hence we are only partially faithful to him. But the good news is that we are following him as best we can. We will leave this hour of Eucharistic worship and return to the world with all sorts of tough choices and difficult demands. Hence we have to pray for strength, we have to ask for forgiveness when we fail, and we have to renew our determination to walk with Jesus by being loyal to our spouse and family, earning our living honestly, and living not only peacefully, but lovingly, with our neighbors.
Additional anecdote # 3: The commitment of a star maker: Bill Haber, a famous movie producer, was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. For thirty years, his life consisted of making and breaking the careers of movie stars, and he did his job well. In 1995, when his two partners at Creative Artists Agency left him in order to run their own studios, Bill started a nonprofit organization called Save the Children, where he now supervises forty thousand employees in forty-one countries. He left behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood for the day-in day-out realities of starving kids. Why would he make such a move? Simple, he says. "You only live once, and I felt God calling me to work with children." He realized that wealth and power aren’t everything, and when confronted with the chance to make a lasting difference in people’s lives, he simply said, "I couldn’t afford to let the opportunity pass." Amazingly, Bill Haber says that nobody in Hollywood ever thought he was crazy for doing what he did. In fact, several have said to him, "I wish I could do that." The truth is that anyone at any time can do what Bill Haber did. In today’s gospel Jesus gives us an invitation to abandon the building of our own individual kingdoms, and to join with him in building his eternal kingdom, right here and right now, with total commitment.
# 4: "The Lord guides me." Catherine Swift in her biography of Eric Liddell describes the faith-commitment of England’s fastest runner of 1924 and the gold medalist of 400-meter dash at the Paris Olympics. On April 6, 1923, in a small town hall in Armadale, Scotland, Eric Liddell spoke for the first time of his faith in Christ and of the strength he felt within himself from the sure knowledge of God's love and support. News of Liddell's talk was reported in every newspaper in Scotland the next morning. When asked how he knew where the finish line was located, he replied in his deliberate Scottish brogue, "The Lord guides me." As word of his faith in Christ spread through England, many wondered if he would display the same zeal on the track. Liddell silenced all skeptics in the AAA Championships in London in July 1923, by winning the 220-yard dash and the 100-yard dash. His time in the 100 stood as England's best for thirty-five years. But he stunned his British sports fans by refusing to participate in the Paris Olympic heats for the 100 meters as the officials fixed it on a Sunday. He considered Sunday to be sacred, a day set apart for the Lord; and he would honor his convictions at the expense of fame. He was replaced by his teammate. But three days later, he finished third in the 200-meter sprint, taking an unexpected bronze medal and his substitute won the Olympic gold medal in the 100 meters. Eric volunteered to run the 400 meters and surprised the world by winning an Olympic gold medal for England. Liddell ran to victory, five meters ahead of the silver medalist. "The Flying Scotsman" had a gold medal and a world record, 47.6 seconds. Most of all, Eric Liddell had kept his commitment to his convictions of faith. After a few years Eric surprised the world once again by becoming an ordained missionary in China where he served as a zealous missionary for 13 years. Shortly after his forty-third birthday in January 1945 he died of a brain tumor. Eric Liddell ran, spoke, and lived with great faithfulness and solid commitment to Christ as demanded by Jesus in today’s gospel. The movie, Chariots of Fire, chronicled his faith, influencing yet another generation for Jesus Christ.
http://ww2.intouch.org/site/c.dhKHIXPKIuE/b.2704335/k.CF1A/Life_Center_Principles__Life_Examples__Eric_Liddell.htm)
JOKES OF THE WEEK
# 1: Committed to the spouse or to the Super Bowl? A young man was very excited because he just won a ticket to the Super Bowl. His excitement lessened as he realized his seat was in the back of the stadium. As he searched the rows ahead of him for a better seat, he saw an empty one right next to the field. He approached the man sitting next to the empty seat and asked if it was taken.The man replied, "No." Amazed the young man asked, "How could someone pass up a seat like this?"The older gentleman responded, "That's my wife's seat. We've been to every Super Bowl together since the day we were married but she has passed away.""Oh, how sad," the man said. "I'm sorry to hear that, but couldn't you find a friend or relative to come with you?""No," the man said, "They're all at the funeral."
USEFUL WEBSITES OF THE WEEK
1- Biblical basis of Catholic doctrines:
http://scripturecatholic.com/

2- Links to important Catholic websites:
http://www.catholicmatters.com/links.htm

3- New official Catholic documents & news: http://scripturecatholic.com/
(Scriptural homilies No. 342 by Fr. Tony
(Fr. Anthony Kadavil, 106 Providence St., Mobile, AL 36604, U. S. A.) L
FATHERS’ DAY MESSAGE, JUNE 21, 2010

Anecdote # 1
:
Have you ever seen a saint praying?" St. Teresa of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Avila have their own stories about the influence their fathers had on their lives as role models. The Little Flower used to ask an innocent question to her first grader classmates: “Have you ever seen a saint praying?" She would add: "If you haven't, come to my house in the evening. You will see my dad on his knees in his room with outstretched arms, praying for us, his children, every day.” She states in one of her letters from the convent: “I have never seen or heard or experienced anything displeasing to Jesus in my family.” St. Teresa of Avila was admitted against her will, by her father, to a boarding house conducted by nuns, in the final year of her high school studies, as soon as he detected bad books and yellow magazines hidden in her box. They were supplied by her spoiled friend and classmate, Beatrice. St. Teresa later wrote as the Mother Superior: “But for that daring and timely action of my father, I would have ended up in the streets, as a notorious woman.” Fathers’ Day challenges Christian Fathers to be role models to their children.
2) "Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana noon Tuesday. All is forgiven." In Ernest Hemingway’s short story, a Spanish newspaper carried a poignant story about a father and his son. It went like this. A teen-aged boy, Paco, and his very wealthy father had a falling out and the young man ran away from home. The father was crushed. After a few days, he realized that the boy was serious, so the father set out to find him. He searched high and low for five months to no avail. Finally, in a last, desperate attempt to find his son, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read, "Dear Paco, Meet me at the Hotel Montana noon Tuesday. All is forgiven. I love you. Signed, Your Father. On Tuesday, in the office of Hotel Montana, over 800 Pacos showed up, looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers!! What a magnet that ad was. Over 800 Pacos!! Fathers’ Day reminds us that we need more loving, forgiving fathers.
#3 ''I learned it from you, Daddy.” The Talmud tells us, ''A child tells in the street what its father says at home.'' Much to the embarrassment of many parents, this adage is true. One father tells of taking his three-year-old son with him to see Grandma and Papa. While visiting, Grandma and her grandson baked cookies while dad and Papa watched a football game. Upon tasting a sample from the first batch, the three-year-old held the cookie out saying, ''Damn, this is good!'' Grandma gasped. The father jumped from his chair and corrected his son saying, ''That's not a nice word! Where did you learn that word?'' The boy instantly replied, ''I learned it from you, Daddy. You say it every time Momma fixes supper.''
Introduction: Happy Father’s Day to all who have fathers or stepfathers or who are fathers! These holidays of our culture are not exactly high holy days of the Church, but they do give us reason to pause, to pray for and to reflect on our fathers whom we honor. Five weeks ago we offered Mass for our moms. Today, on this Father's Day, we are doing the same, offering our dads – living or dead – on the altar of God during this Holy Mass, invoking our heavenly Father’s blessings on them. Modern America appears to be unique in its honoring of fathers on a special day. Today we celebrate, congratulate and pray for the men who continue to reflect the divine qualities of fatherhood as they lovingly establish, nourish and maintain family. Fathers are a blessing and we thank them for blessing us with lives of dedication, endurance and love.
Historical note: The observance most similar to our Father's Day was the ancient Roman Parentalia, which lasted from the thirteenth of February to the twenty-second. This festival, however, was not for living fathers, but was rather a time of remembrance, commemorating departed parents and kinsfolk. The ceremonies were held, Ovid says to "appease the souls of your fathers." This annual observance became a family reunion. Members offered wine, milk, honey, oil and water at the flower-decorated graves. At the concluding ceremony, known as the Caristia, much celebrating went on as the living relatives feasted together, having been cleansed by the performance of their duties to the dead. Father's Day for us, of course, is not intended for honoring the dead. We may pay a minor symbolic tribute by wearing a white rose in memory of deceased fathers, but far fewer of these are seen than white carnations on Mothers’ Day.
The origin of Fathers’ Day. The originator and promoter of Fathers’ Day was Mrs. John Bruce Dodd (Sonora Smart Dodd) of Spokane, Washington. The idea of a Fathers’ Day celebration came to her first while listening to a sermon on Mothers’ Day in 1909. Her own father, William Jackson Smart, had accomplished the amazing task of rearing six children -- Mrs. Dodd and her five brothers -- after his wife died at an early age. The sacrifices of her father on their eastern Washington farm called to mind the unsung feats of fathers everywhere. Mrs. Dodd’s idea was approved by her church and publicized by the YMCA. In 1910, the mayor of Spokane issued a Fathers’ Day Proclamation and the governor, M.E. Hay, set the date for an observance throughout the state. Mrs. Dodd's suggestions for observing the day included wearing a flower -- a red rose to indicate a living father and a white rose for a dead father. By 1924, the custom had spread through the country, and Calvin Coolidge made the first presidential proclamation in support of Fathers’ Day. Nearly 60 years later, President Richard Nixon made the holiday permanent in 1972, when he requested that Congress pass a joint resolution making the third Sunday in June a National Day of Observance in honor of fathers everywhere.
Fathers’ role in the family and in the society. Some recent studies have demonstrated how important a father is to his child's development. Children with fathers present have a lower rate of delinquency, drug and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, and so on, than those with absent fathers. The father's presence is also a significant positive factor in children’s getting a college education, finding a satisfying job, and making a lasting marriage. Psychotherapists today are saying that both parents are vitally important to the stable development of their children; the mother's input is invaluable in the formative pre-adolescent years but the father's most important influence is at adolescence. Single mothers tell us that it is terribly difficult to teach their children about the meaning of God the Father, who seems so impersonal because their children have been abandoned by their natural fathers. Adolescent daughters long to hear from their fathers that they are beautiful and loved. In fact a girl's choice of partner and satisfaction in marriage is often directly related to the relationship she has had with her father. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the vital importance of the father’s role comes from the fact that he with his wife cooperates with God the Creator in bringing a new human life into the world. There is no power greater than that (#2367). (A few Biblical references to fathers: Genesis 2:24, Exodus 20:12, Ezekiel 19:19-20, Sirach 3:1 16, Matthew 19:16-22, John 1:14, 2 Cor. 6:16-18, Ephesians 6: 1-4, 1 Thess. 2:11 – 12).
The ideal and the reality: Many fathers today are role models like St. Thomas More and Louis Martin (father of the Little Flower), heroes of our faith. Even in these days, fathers are expected to be the providers for, and the protectors of the family. They are also supposed to be attuned emotionally and spiritually to their wives and children, and to be able to balance careers with family life. Fathers struggle to overcome temptation and conflict. They make sacrifices day after day for their families. They try to give their youngsters the kind of model that surely they deserve above all else, a model of goodness, holiness, faith, trust in God and fidelity to the teachings of the Church. This is what Fathers’ Day should remind us of. This is a time for all fathers to reflect upon their duties as responsible and well-integrated men. True fatherhood demands commitment. Commitment demands maturity, sacrifice, and love. Fatherhood also demands responsibility. Every true father will take responsibility for all of his actions. Our nation has an urgent need of good fathers.
But while the idea of fatherhood is a good one, the reality we see on earth is sometimes quite different. Some fathers abandon their children, beat them, ridicule or ignore them, abuse them and damage them psychologically for life. Even good fathers have their limits. Unfortunately, we unduly sentimentalize fatherhood, the media often ridicule and make fun of it and we treat it with contempt. We are reminded time after time of the number of children growing up fatherless because their fathers have abandoned them, their fathers have been unfaithful.
A day to remember our Heavenly Father and our Rev. Fr. Pastor
A favorite gift for Father's Day is the cap emblazoned with the words "World's Greatest Dad." You may see more of them than ever this year on the heads of proud fathers everywhere. There is one dad, however, who doesn't always get a lot of honor on Father's Day. That is the "World's Greatest Dad," OUR HEAVENLY FATHER (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6). He is our spiritual Daddy, actively involved in all areas of our lives. It is He on Whom we lean in times of pain and hurt; it is He Whom we call on in times of need; it is He Who provides for us in all ways --practical, emotional, and spiritual. He wants us to think of Him as "Dad." This being so, let us take this Fathers’ Day to honor Him, the REAL "World's Greatest Dad." Many of us pray the “Our Father” day after day, without paying attention to, or experiencing, the love and providence of our Heavenly Father. Let us pray the Our Father during this Holy Mass realizing the meaning of each clause and experiencing the love of our Heavenly Father. Let the earthly fathers draw strength from their Heavenly Father. On this Fathers’ Day please don’t forget to pray for us your spiritual fathers -men who are called to be fathers of an immensely large parish family through the sacrament of Holy Orders.
JOKES OF THE DAY
1) Brag about parents: An Army brat was boasting about his father to a Navy brat."My dad is an engineer. He can do everything. Do you know the Alps?""Yes," said the Navy brat."My dad has built them."Then the naval kid spoke: "And do you know the Dead Sea?""Yes." "It's my dad who's killed it!"
2) New family driver: Martin had just received his brand new driver’s license. The family trooped out to the driveway, and climbed in the car, where he was going to take them for a ride for the first time. Dad immediately headed for the back seat, directly behind the newly-minted driver. "I'll bet you're back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive," says the beaming boy to his father. "Nope," comes dad's reply, "I'm gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you've been doing to me all these years."
3) What a Card! Father's Day was near when I brought my three-year-old son, Tyler, to the card store. Inside, I showed him the cards for dads and told him to pick one. When I looked back, Tyler was picking up one card after another, opening them up and quickly shoving them back into slots, every which way. "Tyler, what are you doing?" I asked. "Haven't you found a nice card for Daddy yet?" "No," he replied. "I'm looking for one with money in it."
4) No. 1 on Our List -- Literally!My father was completely lost in the kitchen and never ate unless someone prepared a meal for him. When Mother was ill, however, he volunteered to go to the supermarket for her. She sent him off with a carefully numbered list of seven items. Dad returned shortly, very proud of himself, and proceeded to unpack the grocery bags. He had one bag of sugar, two dozen eggs, three hams, four boxes of detergent, five boxes of crackers, six eggplants, and seven green peppers.
WEBSITES OF THE WEEK
1) http://www.homiliesbyemail.com/Special/Fathers/fathersday.html
2)
http://www.fathers.com/
3)
http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/projects/socialteaching/ (Catholic Social teaching)
4) Website for Catholic kids:
http://www.k4j.org/
(Homily outlines No. 342-b by Fr. Tony (
akadavil@mobis.com)
SYNOPSIS OF FATHERS DAY HOMILY: Introduction: Happy Fathers Day to all who are fathers or grandfathers or stepfathers. Five weeks ago we observed Mothers Day and offered Mass for our moms. Today, on this Father's Day, we are doing the same, offering our dads – living or dead – on the altar of God during this Holy Mass, invoking our heavenly Father’s blessings on them so that they may be remembered as loving, caring, disciplining, always available and willing to do for their children whatever is needed to help them.

The observance most similar to our Father's Day was the ancient Roman Parentalia, an annual family reunion to remember the departed parents and kinsfolk. The originator and promoter of Fathers’ Day was Mrs. Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington whose father, William Jackson Smart had accomplished the amazing task of rearing his six children after their mother’s death at an early age. Mrs. Dodd's suggestions for observing the day included wearing a flower -- a red rose to indicate a living father and a white rose for a dead father. In 1924 president Calvin Coolidge made the first presidential proclamation in support of Fathers’ Day and later in 1972 president Richard Nixon declared the third Sunday in June a National Day of Observance in honor of fathers.

Fathers’ role in the society: According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the vital importance of the father’s role comes from the fact that he with his wife cooperates with God the Creator in bringing a new human life into the world. Children with fathers present have a much lower rate of delinquency, drug and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, and so on, than those with absent fathers. The father's presence is also a significant positive factor in children’s getting a college education, finding a satisfying job, and making a lasting marriage. A girl's choice of partner and satisfaction in marriage is often directly related to the relationship she has had with her father.
A day to remember our Heavenly Father and our Rev. Fr. Pastor: Fathers Day is a day to remember, acknowledge and appreciate the "World's Greatest Dad," OUR HEAVENLY FATHER (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6) who is our spiritual Daddy, actively involved in all areas of our lives. It is He on Whom we lean in times of pain and hurt. It is He Whom we call on in times of need. It is He Who provides for us in all ways --practical, emotional, and spiritual. Many of us pray the “Our Father” day after day, without paying attention to, or experiencing, the love and providence of our Heavenly Father. Let us pray the Our Father during this Holy Mass realizing the meaning of each clause and experiencing the love of our Heavenly Father. Let the earthly fathers draw strength from their Heavenly Father. On this Fathers’ Day please don’t forget to pray for us your spiritual Fathers -men who are called to be Fathers of an immensely large parish family through the sacrament of Holy Orders.

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