Pope Francis recently reminded us that God is our Father who is always watching over us with love and will never abandon us, no matter what our needs or problems are.
This past Father's Day, I reflected on how many children grow up without good fathers. Divorce, death, estrangement, abandonment, imprisonment, and so many other factors lead to children not having the presence of a father in their life.
Then there are those who do have fathers, but whose fathers lacked in some significant way. Maybe their father never gave them the validation, encouragement, love, or connection they needed and they feel a void. Maybe their father never lived up to their expectations of what a father should be.
Fathers can teach us much about God's love. The ideal father loves, guides, protects, and is faithful to his children. Fathers can be relied on as a stable figure of strength and support.
There are so many examples of fathers in the bible: Joseph. Abraham. David. The prodigal son's father. All of these examples show us the virtues of the vocation of fatherhood: love, compassion, duty, courage, mercy, and faith.
The greatest example of fatherly love is God our father, who is holy, fair, kind, forgiving, and loving. He never fails us. He never makes a mistake. He never strays. He wants what is best for us. He is the father of all fathers.
Do you relate to God as your father, and yourself as His son and daughter? Do you spend time with Him? Do you keep in touch and talk to Him? Do you seek direction from Him? Are you grateful for the goodness and gifts He provides to you? Do you apologize to Him when your relationship needs to be restored? Most importantly, do you love Him as you would a father?
Let our fathers be a reflection of God's fatherly, perfect love, and let us more fully embrace God as Our Father.