By Monsignor Robert K. Golombek
My father passed away in 1978, but I still vividly remember what he taught me about Father’s Day and about our frequently forgotten heavenly Father.
Whenever I experienced problems, I always sought out Dad. It was easy to find him on the front porch meditating after work or in the backyard reading his newspaper.
His answer to all of my problems was the silent example of his prayer life. This didn’t dawn on me until I was older. Whether in need or in thanksgiving, he always turned to God the Father.
On this Father’s Day, I will recall what my father said to do and what the Lord said to do whenever we’re in need: “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.”
When reading the scriptures with the purpose of understanding the Lord, we find that he, too, always turned to his Father to summon his strength, to reach solutions and to offer thanks.
Like Dad, I give daily thanks to this frequently forgotten Father. That I fall asleep peacefully in the evening and awaken peacefully in the morning is a gift from him. That, at 83, I continue ministering to others’ needs is a gift from him. That I cook and deliver food to the hungry is a gift from him. That I’ve forgiven others who’ve hurt me is a gift from him. That I celebrate the beauty of nature by seeing his hand as the creator is a gift from him. That I help others to pray is a gift from him.
I could easily catalogue numerous other blessings from our Father we daily receive but we often forget to recognize. Dad, however, never forgot. His example inspired me to remember and gratefully cherish my connection to my heavenly Father.
When I pray, I often reflect on people I’ve met who have lost various abilities. I ask: When they could speak, or walk, or see, or hear, or remember, or write, did they remember to thank the Father for the gifts he bestowed on them? Our gifts and talents are hardly appreciated until they are lost.
How wonderful if all of us would realize the source of all of these blessings is our often forgotten Father. How magnificent if Father’s Day could be celebrated every day to show our daily gratitude to him!
One day I traveled home with a difficult problem from one of my pastoral assignments. Dad saw my worry and asked me to speak about it.
After listening, his answer was always the same: “You know who will help you find the solution.” He pointed his finger skyward and said: “He will help you.”
I convey this memory from my priestly life as a source of encouragement to many people currently troubled but who search for solutions in the wrong places.
One example is the considerable number of individuals who seek relief from problems through drugs. As they struggle to resolve their challenges, they unfortunately create more of them, often with deadly consequences, that we witness in the media daily.
I offer these personal experiences and thoughts to encourage people, perhaps for the first time, to spark an awareness of our forgotten Father’s most caring and continuous presence. Whenever you experience difficulties, turn to him. He always waits. He hopes to hear from you.
Make the connection. See what a difference it makes in your life. On Father’s Day, remember that you have been blessed with your earthly father’s presence as well as the constant companionship of your forgotten Father, whom you must never allow to be forgotten.