This weekend we celebrate Father's Day.
The day you say thank you to your dad for feeding you, clothing you, and being at your soccer games by giving him a photo mug.
No matter how we show our appreciation: through a craft project, or a family dinner, or a phone call, Father's Day is truly a day worth celebrating. Our biological fathers are meant to be a gift to us from God, to be a sign of the love God the Father has for us.
We are told God wants to provide for us (Deuteronomy 2:7) but that idea becomes real when we see our dads stay up late or wake up early to go to work every day so we can have what we need.
Scripture tells us God is our protector (Judith 9:11) and we experience that in a unique way when our dads want to meet the person we are dating to make sure he or she is 'good enough' to date his child.
Scripture tells us the Lord is good and forgiving (Psalm 86:5) but there is nothing like a dad telling you 'it's okay' as he hugs you, after you just broke his most expensive tool.
Now, don't get me wrong. No father is perfect. Even the best dads aren't always the perfect example of God's love. Some of us have fathers who don't really remind us of God . . . ever. Some of us don't even know our fathers. That's okay. God has promised that He is 'father of the fatherless' (Psalm 68:6).
But God is so good that He provides other men in our Church to love and care for us with a father's love when our dads fail: He gives us priests.
Priests are men who have been called by God himself to serve the Church, God's family.
They feed us by giving us true food and true drink (John 6:55), the Body and Blood of Christ. They forgive us all of our sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They stay up late and wake up early to pray for us. Some of them even go to our soccer games! While they don't have biological children, their children are all people at their parish. We are their children. That is why we call them Father!
So as we celebrate dads today, don't forget to say thank you to the priests in your life! Drop off a Father's Day card at the rectory, call a priest you know and tell him thank you for all he does for your parish.
Maybe even make him a photo mug.