It seems very appropriate to be celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi (Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ) and Father’s Day on the same weekend. As we contemplate the love that we receive each week when we hear, “this is my body broken for you,” and “this is my blood poured out for you,” we can’t help but think of those men (and women) who have been “fathers” to us. The Eucharist feeds us but then calls us to something greater. It’s not enough for us to relish that love in the Eucharist and say ‘thank you, Jesus.” We are called to live out that love in the circumstances of our own lives. I think about those faithful men who have worked at grueling jobs for years and years and have never complained but were grateful to provide for their families, I think of those men who had great plans for their children only to see those plans unravel as their child became addicted. I think of those fathers who have lost a child and are never the same. I think of the mothers who have had to be fathers, too, because the father of the family was absent. I also think of those men who have fathered children and take no responsibility for their care. I have net some of those men through my work at the Soup Kitchen. They often say that their lives were completely out of control (usually because of drugs) and they thought it best to stay away from their children and not bring that madness to those they were supposed to protect. Although it’s no excuse, it may remind us that when addictions and/or mental illness are part of the equation, there’s no easy solutions. I can also say that those men who have been in recovery spend the rest of their days aching for the years they lost with their children.
Please know, fathers and those who have been like fathers, that your works has been sacred work and those you have raised will never forget you. You have done the work of Eucharist and, like Jesus, allowed your body to be broken for us and your blood (your life) to be poured out for us and we will be forever grateful for that love!