There was one weekend I was old enough for my parents to be away and I could be at home by myself and take care of myself with supervision. I remember at the time getting a little angry over something that did not matter and because of it I accidentally broke something in the house that was replaceable but also valuable. I did not want to wait till my parents go home for them to find out, so I called them and told them what happened. Instead of angry and frustration I remember my Father being kind and forgiving for what I did. We let it go replaced the thing I broke and moved on in life. I know my parents were not happy that I broke that thing but they chose to show me mercy and not anger and punishment.
Today is Father’s day and I think it is also significant that our patron, our Church’s name is St. Joseph the worker. In a way we remember St. Joseph too as the Father of Jesus on Father’s day. However, I too believe that the readings speak to today’s day as well. More specifically the reading from St. Paul to the Romans speaks to us about the love that God our father in heaven has for us.
St. Paul tells us that through one-man death entered the world because of his sin. This one man was Adam our first father and his wife eve were given a commandment to follow that they broke. If you remember the story of Genesis Adam and Eve were given a garden of abundance and they could eat anything from that garden, with one exception. They couldn’t eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Through the cunning of the serpent they were convinced to eat the fruit from that tree. As St. Paul explains through that one action, sin and death entered the world. Even those who don’t commit the sin of Adam there is still the consequence of that sin there for them, the consequence of death.
In a way God punished Adam and Eve for their sin. They were cast out of the garden and they both eventually died a physical death. It seems that God would continue to punish his creation by death. However in the Old Testament God promised that he would not leave us in sin and death and he would send us a savior.
St. Paul speaks about this reality as well! As he said, “But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.” By Jesus death and resurrection on the cross we have eternal life.
So I think back to the example of merciful fathers and how they respond with kindness and mercy over their children falling into sin. How much more merciful and loving is our heavenly father. God the Father knew from the beginning of time that he would send his son into the world to redeem the world and bring about salvation. In a way have all broken something important to our Father in heaven. But instead of leaving us out in the cold, instead of casting us out into the darkness. God our Father sent us his son to redeem us and bring us salvation.
I hope on this Father’s Day you are grateful to your father, your grandfather and great grandfather. While we all have different experiences of fathers we should still be grateful to them, as they are a part of who we are and they helped us become who we are today. However, I too hope we can be grateful to our heavenly father as well on this Father’s Day.