God has revealed himself as a Father. From the first words of Genesis we read of God’s creating work, of which we are His created result! God is our father! Later in Genesis, Abraham is promised that he will be a father to God’s chosen people. Here we see that God wants to share his fatherhood with his creatures. When our Lord Jesus comes with the fullness of revelation, he teaches us to call God our father in the core prayer of his teaching.
This gift of fatherhood is of divine origin then and not human origin. Many men describe a powerful spiritual experience when they hold their first child for the first time. They realize that the gift of life and fatherhood is not something that they created themselves but it is a gift from God.
Today’s celebration of Father’s Day is a recognition that fatherhood is greater than a merely human invention. While we in the United States celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June, many of our Catholic counterparts in the world use March 19th to celebrate fatherhood. Since Saint Joseph was chosen to be the father figure in the holy family, his feast day solemnizes the importance of fatherhood. Saint Joseph was the patient and most chaste protector of Mary and Jesus. Imagine the daunting call of traveling with Mary and the new born Jesus to Egypt. We read in Matthew’s gospel that Joseph received his courageous call to fatherhood without complaint or doubt. (2:15) As we celebrate Father’s Day, may Saint Joseph intercede for us all!