The role or job description of a bishop is to "teach, govern and sanctify". From the eyes of Faith, the bishop is seen as our spiritual father, and image of the Heavenly Father. Assisted by his priests, he is to show how to live, to make sure that the family does well in living out the Faith, and to serve as an inspiration. He is to be a model for all fathers in the enfleshment of their responsibilities to their children. We are reminded in the reading from the Hebrew Scriptures that David had been chosen king, given everything possible from God, called to be a father to his people, and yet he sinned and fell short of the mark. Despite this failure, God accepted his contrition and still held him as an example, a model of blessing. So, even if our spiritual fathers fail to live up to the challenge (or our expectations), it does not diminish what they are to provide for God's family.
On this Fathers Day weekend, as we look to and reflect upon our dads, we see success stories and failures in our relationships with them. Can we appreciate the attempts of our earthly dads to model the image of the invisible God? If we are dads, spiritually or biologically or by adoption, do we strive to teach our children and the children of the world the wisdom and knowledge that the world has to offer, tempered by the wisdom and knowledge revealed by God? Do we provide a household where growth and maturity are encouraged and where love is the foundation of the community? Do we provide the stable and secure environment to prosper and thrive? Do we inspire our children and the children of the world to seek Truth, to live justly, to be Holy, to know God?
On this Fathers Day, may the Heavenly Father, who is so loving and generous with us, show us the Way (through the Church and our family), provide a community in which to prosper (through the Church and our family), and inspire us to embrace holiness (through our dads and moms). And may our Dads who have gone to their heavenly reward, rejoice with God in their love for us. Happy Fathers Day.