Besides being the patron saint of fathers, Joseph has many other patronages as well.
Countless churches are named after him. And I think it’s safe to say if asked “who was
Saint Joseph” far more people can answer that question than say, who was Saint Justin
Interestingly though while Joseph may be one of the most known of our saints, what we
know of him is very little. Unlike other saints, there’s no writings that have been handed
down. He says nothing in the New Testament. All that is told of him is that he is a just
man, and he trusts in God’s plans over his own, and is there for Jesus and Mary until at
some point he dies before Jesus begins His public ministry.
The thing of it is though is that while Joseph doesn’t have to say or write much for us to
know who the man is. What we know is enough – that he was there day in and day out
to support Mary and Joseph, and that he played his part in God’s plan, and did so much
to make the Holy Family holy.
In many ways, I think our earthly fathers are a lot like Joseph. They say “yes” to the
vocation of being a dad and trust that even though their child does not come with an
instruction manual, things will work out. They look to their spouse as their partner and
equal in raising their child. But perhaps more than anything, every day they are just
quietly there for their children, from working a job to keep a roof over their heads, to
going to the ball games, giving them advice and guidance, and in a million small ways
day in and day out helping a child to realize they are loved, and that God has a plan for
them too by giving them the guidance they need to chase their own dreams and fulfill
This weekend, we also celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. One of the
things we believe as Catholics is that Mass is a sacrifice, a re-presentation of what
happened at the first Mass, on Holy Thursday, and on Good Friday, when Jesus gave
Himself for us all out of love. It’s a perfect liturgical feast to coincide with Father’s Day,
because our father’s do the same for us.
In my life, I’ve been blessed with two great parents. With respect to my dad, what I think
about when I think of him is someone who is always there, and who has worked so hard
over the years for our family. Growing up, every day he’d go to work to support the
family, but when he got home he was there with us too. Some nights there’s be things to
do around the house; other nights we’d go to the park together, but through it all he
never was off doing “his own thing” with his friends but there for me growing up, as he
still is today. But he was also there for others, too. He’d be the first to be over at my
grandparents house to help with lawn cutting, snow shoveling, getting groceries for
them when they couldn’t drive, and he is also active in our parish too. He’s given me
much good advice over the years, but through his actions I’ve learned so much about
what the faith looks like in action.
Whether you are a father or not, you certainly have one. Hopefully it has been a good
relationship. If it hasn’t, strive to pray for him, and to work through emotions by
acknowledging them rather than burying them, remembering that God’s love can do so
much, and this continues even after we die too. If you’ve lost your father, remember that
death does not separate us forever. We may not have the person physically present
with us, but we are connected. They live on in God’s love, but we can still learn from
them too by emulating their good qualities. If you are fortunate to have your dad still
here on earth, give him a gift that he’ll treasure, namely the gift of your time, by making
time to visit and regularly see your father and grandfather. And if you are a father
yourself, never forget that all those many things you do for your families, even if they
aren’t always seen at the time as being important or appreciated, do so much to help
your children to come to know the love of God and how to respond to that love.
In a world where so much time and energy can go into wanting to be noticed by others,
fathers stand as an example that the most important things we do may be hidden from
the world, but truly leave a lasting impact in changing others for the better. Our fathers
help make us who we are, and they show us so much by quietly living out the faith day
after day and helping us to see God’s love through them, and helping us respond to that
love on our own journeys through life. May God bless them.
Have a blessed Father’s Day,