The father is the “priest” of the home (Dr. Erasmus Okere)

The father is the “priest” of the home (Dr. Erasmus Okere)

The Igbo Catholic Community heartily congratulates all our fathers and wish you a happy fathers’ day! We are proud for your inestimable commitment, support and love on your families and our church. We pray God to grant you the blessings and wisdom you need to remain the awesome dads you have been.
What Jesus says in (Mtt.9:36), is true of many men today: we are “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd”. When a man would rather spend time on things that never add up to the wellbeing of the family or “hanging out with the fellas” than have any meaningful relationship with his wife and children, he is lost. When a man loses the sense of fairness, compassion, responsibility and respect for his wife and children, he is lost. When a man under the influence of jealousy, selfishness, indolence, drugs or alcohol humiliates and beats his wife, passing on a legacy of violence and abuse to his children, he is lost.

Just as Jesus called laborers into the field to reap an abundant harvest of souls, He calls husbands and fathers who are lost to use the navigational tools of prayer, forgiveness, and mercy to find our way back to our Father in heaven. Just as Jesus called men to the priesthood to serve His Bride the Church, the same Jesus calls men through baptism to be priests of the domestic church, the church of the home. A husband and father should exercise his priestly ministry through “the offering he makes of himself and his daily activities. “You husbands must live with your wives with the proper understanding that they are more delicate than you. Treat them with respect, because they also will receive, together with you, God’s gift of life. Do this so that nothing will interfere with your prayers (1Peter3:7).

This offering should be united to Christ’s offering in the Eucharist “for their work, prayers, and apostolic endeavors, their ordinary married and family life, their daily labor, their mental and physical relaxation, if carried on in the spirit–and even the hardships of life, if patiently borne–all of these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”. The main job of the priest is to offer sacrifice, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should lead fathers to intimate and personal relationship with God, uniting him so closely to Christ that the Eucharist becomes the very soul and center of his spiritual and family life.

The priest of the home must accept the responsibility of living “the Gospel in faith and proclaiming it in word and deed, without hesitating to identify and denounce evil.” Catholic parents are the primary and indispensable catechists of their own children. Fathers are not only called to preach the Gospel but also, and above all, to live the Gospel by setting a good example for their children. If our children see us living the Catholic faith with fidelity and joy, then we can be sure that our example will be worth more than a thousand words and have confidence that our love for Christ will be written into the hearts of our sons and daughters. When we do this, the Catholic faith will become more than a fond memory that fades with time. A father’s living witness to covenant intimacy will become his enduring legacy, a precious gift for his children, and a sure sign of hope in God’s endless mercy and love. Wishing you a renewed vigor in service to God and family, as you enjoy the dignity of fatherhood.

Article by Ustyne

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