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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Reflection 2020-06-21 Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father’s Day)

Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 69; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33
St Joseph as Father
In the Gospel Reading today, we hear Jesus telling his Apostles Fear no one; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Jesus makes this conclusion after his discourse on the coming persecution of his disciples. But he ends his discourse by telling them not to be afraid of human beings because all they can do is to kill the body but not the soul. What Jesus warns us is to be afraid of the One who can destroy body and soul.
This being Father’s day, it seems like this is an appropriate message to fathers. When we look around society, we see almost a consolidation of forces that threaten to harm the family. Society has its own idea of salvation, of love, of hate and of life and death. So what is a father to do? Do we just give in to these forces and surrender? Fathers are called to confront these forces and protect their families from these forces of evil.
In doing so, the task may seem daunting. We will be overwhelmed, we will lose heart, sometimes our children will be deceived into believing what society teaches. But as fathers, we need to push on, Into the Breach and fight for our families. In the First Reading, Jeremiah says he hears many of his enemies plotting evil things against him. His close friends watch to see him stumble. Yet, he concludes: the Lord is with me like a dread warrior. And he prays O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind, let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. When we are surrounded by danger, when those we love are bombarded by evil, Men, we are to rise up and defend those who rely on us to protect them. We do this, not by confronting them head on. But by trusting in the Lord, committing our cause to him and let him lead us to where he wants us to go and how he wants us to go. We are confident as the Responsorial Psalm says Lord, in your steadfast love, answer me. God is faithful and when we seek out his will and desire to do his will, God will answer us at the acceptable time.
Fathers, we are not called to be good men. We are called to be holy men, fearless in the face of evil, ready to obey our Captain, Jesus Christ. We are called to be men who uncover what the devil does in secret, men who proclaim what God spoke to us in the darkness, that salvation comes only from Jesus, that we are not the saviors of the world, we cannot save the world: only Jesus can; that sin is real and as the Second Reading tells us: forgiveness is a free gift from God, to those who receive Jesus Christ.
The world tells us we should save the planet, we should save the world. But we say, yes, we save the world through Jesus. The world tells us love is accepting people and letting them do what they want. But we tell them, love is God accepting us as we are and leading us to eternal life. The world tells us, we do not need God, but we tell them, We need God because we need to be saved, we need eternal life, we need the power of God to conquer evil.
Men of God, we are to stand and fight, for our families and for our lives. We cannot do this on our own. We need the power of God to lead us into the breach to conquer the kingdom of Satan and bring in the kingdom of God.
Jesus said Do not be afraid three times. Why? Because our Father in heaven is with us, a dread and mighty Warrior, who is faithful and true. Jesus is a victorious King who has conquered sin and Death. The Holy Spirit is the Life and Power of God who leads us into eternal life.
Lord Jesus, raise up holy men who will stand against evil, who will proclaim your Truth, uncovering the secrets of the devil, walking into battle, confident that you have conquered sin and death. Give us fathers who will stand for truth, who will protect their families, whose desire is to seek your heart. Give them courage to do what is right and not what is popular. Make them like your Father in heaven. Let them be holy as your Heavenly Father is holy. St Joseph, Terror of demons, pray for us.

Father, please watch this video: Into the Breach

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