By: Deacon Mike Monagle
Throughout Lent and Easter this year a group of parishioners and I have been meeting weekly to view and discuss the video series Genesis to Jesus, based on the book A Father Who Keeps His Promises by Dr. Scott Hahn. The series examines God’s promises (covenants) to key figures throughout salvation history: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. The series reveals that although God always keeps the promises He makes; the track record of his chosen people isn’t so good. A question we Catholic men should be asking ourselves this Father’s Day is, “How good are we at keeping the promises that we’ve made?”
Let’s start with our baptismal promises. Do we choose to live our lives as the adoptive sons he wanted us to be, holy and without blemish? Do we reject sin, the glamor of evil, and all the empty platitudes the world has to offer? Do we genuinely place our hope and trust in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (mindful that Father’s Day falls on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity this year)? Do we believe in the Catholic Church and all that she believes and teaches?
How about our marital promises? Do we love, honor, and cherish our spouses – each and every day of our lives? Have we been faithful in good times and in bad? In heart and mind? In sickness and in health? Have we welcomed children lovingly into our lives as gifts from God and brought them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?
So, how’s our scorecard? Well, not so good. According to the polls, Catholic men today aren’t the best promise keepers. Less than 30% of us attend mass each week, one-third of our marriages have ended in divorce, and almost half of us are in favor of legal abortion. However, as salvation history tells us, the Good News is that it is never too late to seek forgiveness and mercy for our shortcomings and failures, and recommit ourselves to our sacramental (think covenant) promises.
As Catholic men, this Father’s Day, let’s reflect on Our Father, who keeps all his promises and let’s ask for His mercy and grace as we recommit ourselves to keeping our promises to Him, to our spouses and children, and His Church.