When we consider fatherhood, and Father’s Day is a good day to do so, we can look at St. Joseph as the perfect father. He was a provider, a protector and a teacher. He was the spiritual head of the Holy Family. Isn’t that amazing? St. Joseph was the spiritual head of the Holy Family. That means that Joseph, a just man, was put in charge of being the spiritual head of the Immaculate Sinless Ever Virgin Mary. St. Joseph was not immaculate, nor sinless. On top of that, St. Joseph, a just man, was put in charge of being the spiritual head of God the Son, Jesus Christ. I need not point out that Joseph did not have what it took to be the spiritual head of that family. Well, actually, he did not have what it took on a natural level. He did have it on a supernatural level because God provided for him.
Maybe a boy does not have a father in his life. Or maybe his father is not taking an active part in a boy’s life. The boy can have a father-figure in the form of a coach, or an uncle, a friend’s dad, a scout master, a priest. This father-figure can say something like: “You know I never had a son, but if I had one, I would want him to be just like you.” Those of you who saw the movie “For Greater Glory” will recognize these words and how they changed two lives: the life of the man who spoke them, and of the boy who heard them.
Men, we live in an increasingly fatherless society. Whether we are priests or husbands… we are being called to be fathers to the whole society: to be signs of God’s Fatherly love to a world that does not know what true self-sacrificial love is. Let us step up to this noble vocation and ask God to give us the grace of piety to be providers, protectors, and teachers, and to be spiritual heads of our families. Let us look to St. Joseph: a real man; a chaste man; a heroic and pious man; a saint. I believe in you men out there. As a priest, as your spiritual father, I am setting the bar high because I believe in you, I love you, and I am proud of you. With the help of your wives, with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the example of St. Joseph, and by the power of God Almighty and an army of archangels behind us––men, we can do it!