Dear Sister and Brothers in the Lord,
Would you say most fathers receive the respect in popular culture they deserve as parents? Or that fathers receive much respect in most secular education systems today? One can get the impression some view men as “disposable” (fathers included).
Yet we know St. Joseph is a role model for men everywhere. He was, after all, Guardian of the Incarnate Word, and of the Blessed Virgin, alike – who became “Queen of the Universe.”
Something tells me St. Joseph wasn’t disposable.
Your own father was not disposable either. Nor your grandfather. Nor anyone else who played a genuinely “fatherly” role in your own life, back to our first father Adam. As researchers and counselors warned decades ago – and some whisper still – fathers matter. When a father is absent, we “miss” him. By contrast, when a father is “present” then, all things being equal, we are heartened, encouraged, motivated.
Hollywood, radio, television, Internet phones, each in turn seized children’s imaginations, turning them by degrees from ancient parental values. An “entertainment and fashion and industrial complex” seems the best friend of many – if friend is the word for this. Many let a secularized – and a secularizing – school system instill in their children values that can mold them the rest of their lives. As the mayor of a major northern U.S. city said recently, “We’ve become so hip, so cool, so Instagram-ish, so Facebook-ish, so Twitter-ish, that we have TikToked our way out of the humanity that we’ve always known…When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools….”
This mayor added, “Don’t tell me about…separation of church and state. State is the body. Church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies.”
St. Joseph knew all this of course.
As a devout father St. Joseph knew what God commanded – that, “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words …repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house…” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
As to honoring one’s father, St. Joseph doubtless followed this passage his whole life:
“…the Lord sets a father in honor over his children… Those who honor their father atone for sins…Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children, and when they pray they are heard. Those who respect their father will live a long life…honor your father, that all blessings may come to you. A father’s blessing gives a person firm roots…be steadfast in honoring your father…Kindness to a father will not be forgotten.” (Sirach 3:1-3, 5-9, 11-12, 14).
So, for all Christian fathers striving, alongside their wives, to guide young people in word and deed in the midst of this age – a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to you!
May God bless you in fulfilling your mission, granting you light and strength forever.
Yours in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Very Rev. Father Anthony Aarons, Missionary of Mercy
P.S. Anything you can give to help the mission of the Basilica of Mary Queen of the Universe National Shrine is appreciated. And remember: all fathers benefit from your prayers!
Unite yourself with us in prayer on
Father’s Day and throughout the month of June.
Please list the name(s) of those you wish honored/memorialized this Father’s Day. We will include these names in the Basilica’s Father’s Day Honor Roll.