June 18, 2016
First and foremost, for our thoughts this weekend must include a wonderful and heart-felt, “Happy Father’s Day,” to all those men who have been fathers AND father figures to us over all our years. My hope and prayer is that all the holy men who have been blessed as fathers, grandfather, Godfathers, step fathers and any other fathers are truly being treated well today (as they ought to be treated every day).
Yes, this year Father’s Day has a very difficult connotation for me as this is the first year when my Dad is no longer with us; but, we hope and pray enjoying the peace that comes with the many promises our God gives us for eternal life. I had some very tender, precious and invaluable moments with him before he passed and those memories will be a treasure for me until I leave this world. The community here at San Felipe de Neri never got to know the kindness and love of my Dad and for that I am saddened. Also, one thing is true, even though he never got to visit here he knew how much you were praying for him and for that our whole family is truly grateful.
In this week’s Jesus begins, the narrator tells us by praying by himself with his disciples. Perhaps Jesus and the disciples seem to be having some really good, “guy time.” These retreat sort of moments are truly good examples for us and our need to get away and take care of ourselves and our spiritual needs too. It is in this time of prayer and contemplation that Jesus asks the question, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Jesus then follows that with a more direct question to his followers, “But who do you say that I am?” These questions are not just for those blessed folks who were lucky enough to be able to talk with and walk with Jesus thousands of years ago. These questions are for us too.
How we answer these questions by our Jesus, our God truly becomes the basis for how we the deal with the cost of discipleship that Jesus discusses next. If we choose to really be the ones who claim Jesus as Christ then that means we must be ready to take up our cross and be ready for all the pain, suffering and problems that can come with this call to follow Jesus. Now, having said that, we also after knowing this cost and claiming our faith can receive the many blessings and gifts that come with the deal too.
How would you respond to Jesus’ questions? Also, are you really willing to take up your cross, lose your life and trust that God will truly take care of you? Perhaps this week we can think about some of these things as we honor our fathers and share with them our love and appreciation.
May God bless us all today and always!