Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to all the men and women in our community who have accepted the responsibility of being parents. In a time where there is open debate about the nature of the family in our country, I think that it is of the utmost importance that men, through the example of St. Joseph, take a closer look at the indispensable role they play in the care of the family. Indeed, our own soul’s salvation depends on it. A challenging book I would recommend with regard to this issue is one written by a psychologist G.C. Dilsaver entitled The Three Marks of Manhood: How to be a Priest, Prophet and King of your family
In his book Mr. Dilsaver boldly describes and affirms that Church’s teaching on the role of men in the family. He affirms all men have a special role to play in the life of the family that is specifically ordained by God. He invites us to consider the state of the family today and discern men’s roles in their health or demise. He writes:
“This familial headship to which God calls Christians patriarchs is not the old pagan notion of brute dominance over wife and children, but rather a loving authority that is unequivocal yet self-sacrificial just like Christ’s. Indeed, it is only by imitating Our Lord’s headship over His Church that men can lead their families to become what God intended, and empower them to resist the threats of secular culture.”
Husbands and wives, especially those who are parents, are called to be priests for their families. They are called to pray for their family, sacrifice for them, and teach them the ways of the Lord. They are the dispensers of God’s blessing for his spouse and children. They are called to be a men and women of faith, worshipers, intercessors for the health and well-being of those whom they have been entrusted to care for. A parent is a Prophet. They are called to know the Truth, specifically the Truth of God as creator and redeemer of all things. They are the teacher of all things moral and immoral and provides for the educational needs of his children. They are the chief catechist to his family and must intimately know the Lord whom he serves and is supported by. The couple is called to govern the family with justice and love. The role of a king in any government is to defend his people. So it is with Fathers, they are called to defend the family against anything that may bring it disunity, spiritual and moral harm. The mom, is the bearer of good news for their children which is our faith in our Lord.
The mission of parents is to provide all that is necessary for the family to be in union with God, the Church and each other. Only until then they grow in peace. Christ chose twelve men, not by accident or mere tradition, but because he knows that the role of men as spiritual heads and defenders of families is what will allow His bride (the Church) to grow and flourish.