When I was 18, I was diagnosed with cancer. For the next 7½ weeks, my father stopped working, went to church every morning to pray for me, and sat all day by my hospital bed. It took me half a lifetime to come to appreciate my dad’s sacrifice for me and his gift of prayer. Most of us may never acknowledge or fully appreciate what our dads do for us, but that doesn’t stop them from loving us unconditionally and giving us their all.
Fatherhood for St. Joseph was no different than fatherhood is today. St. Joseph devoted his life to his family. Just like my dad was there for me when I had cancer, Joseph was there for Jesus when Jesus needed him. When God called on him, Joseph gave the Lord his, “yes.” Yes, Lord, I will take Mary into my home …Yes, Lord, I will leave my work, home, friends and family and go to Egypt which is far away and where I know no one…Yes, Lord, even though we have successfully established ourselves in this new land, I will now leave this all behind and return to Israel to start our lives anew. Joseph surely had no idea what was in store for him when he began his journey with Jesus, but he knew that he trusted the Father and that was enough for him.
On this Father’s Day, let us ask Jesus to help us recognize all that our fathers are and be thankful for the gift of fatherhood.
Prayer to St. Joseph
Joseph, strengthen in our family
every bond of love which unites us —
the bonds of mutual love and respect between all.
Joseph, protect our family from every danger from without
and from every threat to peace, unity and harmony within.
Joseph, teach us to be kind and loving towards one another,
careful for one another, tolerant of one another, forgiving towards one another.
Joseph, may contentment with our lot and joy in each other abound in our house,
as we seek faithfully to serve and greatly to love God.
Joseph, be you yourself
a father towards this family of ours,
and pray Mary be a mother to us.
Deb Egan grew up in a Catholic family. Throughout her adult life, she has participated as a church volunteer in many capacities, including teaching Religious Education, being a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, Ministering to the elderly and homebound, and Facilitating Small Faith Groups. She has been trained by Evangelical Catholic and became a member of the Build the Faith Team in April of 2017.