Among the ways, Catholic men can express their faith, skills, and ability in conformity to God’s purposes and plan, is being real dads and husbands in their families. This is a real and daunting call of men in this world. How Catholic men respond to this call can make a huge contribution to faith, family, community, and society at large. For example, men’s experience embodies community and its dimensions such as family, relationships, politics, economics, and humankind.
The biblical explanation of men’s experience is found in the first and second creation narratives. In the first, the word that is used for man is “Adam” which yields the meaning “humankind” thus, identifying the entire species as well as the male members of that species. From this root, we can notice that men embody everybody and therefore, their active role and presence in this world and the family manifests inclusive anthropology. In the second creation story, the word for man is “IS” (Gen 2:23). This word denotes male sex and for this reason, is also translated as “husband” thus emphasizing the relational dimensions of the human being. Taking both words in their meanings, men in the family and in this world, enlarge both their relational and human capacities through their embodied experience mentioned above. Consequently, to realize their noble vocation as family dads, men must strive to have a ‘father’s heart’ like Joseph the husband of Mary, and the faithful guardian of the Word made flesh for humanity.
A step towards such a heart is to learn from Joseph’s sacred silence. What does the sacred silence mean to a Catholic man today? There is a contemporary saying that “Don’t let your mouth act before your brain! Once you say it, you can’t take it back.” This saying may be insightful to men in their families and beyond. Learning from Joseph, did he possibly hurt Mary with his silence? Is it possible that Mary would want to know how he spent the money, and she wouldn’t get the answer? Well, if this happened Mary must have been hurt by his silence. The sacred author did not reveal that to us and so, what can we say about these imposed questions? The sacred writer ultimately helps us to appreciate that Joseph had a ‘father’s heart’. With such a heart he was clothed with wonder, empathy, heartful thinking, enjoyment, friendship, husbanding and fathering, communion, passion, and above all, moral uprightness.
During this year of St. Joseph, Catholic men have a model and example to take and develop a father’s heart that embraces their families deeper, and everyone else with a renewed understanding of their embodied experience as men. Go to Joseph!
As a family dad/father, gather your family and settle for prayers- In the morning or evening time.
- Opening prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Gather us, Lord, with your love,
And with gratitude to the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit,
may your peace and joy remain in our home.
Scripture Reading: (Father/Husband)
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now, this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
Reader: The Word of the Lord
Reply: Thanks be to God.
- Brief silence
- Mother/ Wife:Joseph, a protector of his family, and a good father. Pray for us.