It begins with “the news.” One moment you’re a man going about his daily life, maybe catching up on some work or puttering in the yard, and the next minute you’ve been told you’ll soon welcome a child into your life.
Good Shepherd has the frequent honor of sharing the news that makes men fathers. Few moments can compare to delivering the news that a baby is ready to make their lives complete through adoption, that there is a foster child who needs their love and support, that a new baby has been born to a mother in our maternity shelter.
This is the start of a long list of firsts: the first time a man sees his child, the first time he says out loud that he is their parent, the first time he looks into their eyes and experiences the overwhelming feeling of his duty to love and protect this life.
Before that moment, the concept of parenthood is often considered through the lens of, “How will this change my life?” I believe a father is truly created when that transforms into a pure and selfless love, when a man recognizes the power of something bigger than himself—that God has entrusted a child to his care.
That is the lesson Joseph shared with the world as part of the most important adoption story ever told: Christmas. Joseph accepted his responsibility of becoming the Earthly father to Jesus, to raise a child who was not flesh of his flesh. He was a man fit to fulfill the role God had chosen for him.
Today, we celebrate Father’s Day and the enormous role men play in their families. May they be blessed with wisdom and humility as they face the task of parenting, may they let their faith and love shine forth, and may they find joy in the blessing of their sons and daughters every day of their lives.
May God bless you all – and especially the fathers – this holiday weekend.
Yours in Christ,
Michael P. Meehan, Ph.D.