As the Father loved me, so I have loved you. John 15:9
What love may look like is different to different people, in different ages, and places. The love a father has for his child can be challenging, complicated, self-giving, enduring.
The love that Jesus spoke of, the love of the Father that he shares with us is unconditional. It is unique, and the parallel between the love of a father for his child should be what all fathers strive toward – this model of unconditional love.
For fathers everywhere there may be times when the challenges of providing for their family, serving as a witness of faith, offering direction and support can be a heavy mantle to bare.
On my most recent trip to Cameroon, I watched as a father shared a drink on a bench with his 10 year old son. This son had been in the St. Martin de Porres Hospital for three weeks, originally arriving with a high fever and nearly unconscious. During this time this father never left his side. Things improved, yet our Mission Doctors felt that something still needed to be addressed, he was still running a fever from time to time. A surgical consult was called. Nothing was found that would warrant surgery. Yet that night, this 10 year-old child died.
Seeing the father the next day he seemed to have aged, he walked slowly with his own brother to thank the doctors for what they had done for his son, and he returned home.
Today fathers everywhere need our prayers. Some struggle trying to ensure that the basic needs of their family are met. Others immersing themselves in this struggle may miss the joys of fatherhood.
And so we pray for the fathers in our lives, our own, our spouses, and fathers everywhere.
We thank you for your love.
We pray for all fathers everywhere – that they will receive the grace to reflect your unconditional Love.
Bless them with good health, with peace and the gifts necessary to carry out their responsibilities as fathers. Grant them moments of joy with their children that they will see You reflected in the faces of their sons and daughters.
For our fathers who have left this world, may they rest with you in the knowledge that they have guided and walked with their children in this life that they too may be with you in the next.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.