Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers, and stepfathers. Five weeks ago, we observed Mother’s Day and offered Mass for our mothers. Today, on this Father’s Day, we are doing the same – offering our dads, living or dead, on the altar of God during the Holy Mass and invoking our Heavenly Father’s blessings on them.
In our efforts to honor, offer thanksgiving, and pray for fathers, it is also important to remember that Father’s Day can be a difficult holiday for some, such as those who have lost or are estranged from their fathers, couples who are struggling with infertility, and fathers who have lost one or more children through miscarriage, abortion, or in some other way. I invite you to pray for them.
In our Gospel reading for this Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus told his disciples not to be afraid.
What is there to be afraid of? Plenty! There is the fear of going to the dentist, fear of losing the job, fear of failure, fear of COVID-19, etc. Every fear we have is grounded in the knowledge that we have something or someone to lose. I can lose my job, family, house, money, health and even life itself.
Fear comes from the fact that we feel insecure. We feel insecure because we think that God does not care about us and that He does not come to protect us in times of trouble and danger. And that is because there are times when we think that our prayers are not answered.
So how do we pray when we come face to face with troubles and difficulties? We need to look at how Jesus prayed. Let us see how He prayed when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.
At first, He asked His heavenly Father to take that cup away, meaning to save him from suffering, pain and the cross. After that, He prayed that God’s will be done and not His will. Jesus trusted that when He does God’s will, then God will protect and save Him. Jesus went on to face the Cross with courage.
So, when we pray, let us reflect on what we are praying. If we are telling God what He should be doing for us, then it seems that we do not trust God to know what we need. Hence our prayer already shows our distrust and insecurity. So even when we pray, we are having fears.
But when we pray that God’s will be done, we surrender ourselves courageously into God’s hands. Because courage is fear that had said its prayers and surrendered to God’s will. And no matter what happens, even if the worst should happen, we know that God is watching over us and protecting us.
When we put God’s will first, then God assures us that everything will turn out for the good of those who trust God.
To trust God means to love Him. But more importantly we must believe and trust that God loves us more than we can ever love him. And we can discover what our enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten us. The devil will deceive us by saying: You can’t withstand the storm. But Jesus will declare: Do not be afraid. I will silence the storm.
In life there are many dangerous storms. We can react with fear, or we can decide to have courage. Because it takes courage to believe and trust in Jesus who declares to us: Do not be afraid. I have conquered the world.
Let us decide to listen to Jesus, and we will have the courage.