The Things We Do For Our Kids!

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, about two weeks ago, that I looked out my front window and spotted a large, black object in the front yard. As I gazed in wonder at what this could be, the object started moving. Pretty soon I could see it was very large turtle that was moving about the yard. I immediately called the rest of the family to the window to see this magnificent wonder of nature. In a short amount of time, the turtle moved to a large pile of wood chips and began burrowing. By this point I had named our turtle Myrtle, and she was working very hard to make a spot to lay her eggs.

Myrtle burrowed into the pile of mulch and remained there for the remainder of the day. Neighbors came by to inquire, and even our grandchildren were intrigued at what was happening in the front yard. Myrtle remained burrowed in the soil and motionless as she accomplished the difficult work of giving birth. While we didn’t see this happening, we knew that this turtle had found a suitable place to lay her eggs. 

The next morning Myrtle was gone. We carefully covered over the ground that she had disrupted and set about to do some research on how long the eggs would take to hatch. I suspect that sometime in the next several weeks those baby turtles will start making their way to the pond behind our house. “But what about Myrtle?” you ask. Myrtle made the huge sacrifice of releasing the eggs and then leaving them to hatch. Like the devoted mother that she was, Myrtle sat motionless, while nature helped her to release those eggs in a safe place where they would be warm and protected until her babies were ready to hatch. The things we do for our kids!

In our human family, my son and daughter-in-law recently welcomed their third child, Jonah, into their loving family.  With the COVID-19 protocols, we were not able to visit Jonah at the hospital. My son and daughter-in-law have basically been sheltered for the past three months in order to protect Jonah from any possible virus exposure. They missed time with friends, family gatherings, and routine events. They checked in with doctors regularly to make sure that Jonah was growing and staying healthy in the womb.  When Jonah made his grand entrance into the world, they carefully protected him from little and big hands that wanted to touch and hold him. This past weekend we had all the kids and grandkids over, and we were able to hold baby Jonah for the first time. I thought of how much hardship my son and daughter-in-law endured over these past months to protect this beautiful little boy from anything that could harm him. The things we do for our kids!

In our gospel this weekend, we are reminded of the depth of God the Father’s love for his children. Can you and I imagine that our loving Father has counted every hair on our heads? Can we imagine the love of a Father who would send His own Son to suffer and die, so that we could have life everlasting? This same loving Father watches us fall into sin over and over and over again; yet He is always ready to take us back again! The things we do for our kids!

This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. It is so important that we thank God for our earthly parents. Being a parent is no easy task, and certainly not in the times in which we are living. As parents, we have to protect our children from all the things in this world that could cause them harm. We try to guide our children and form them in virtue, so they can be good Christian men and women. We stay up late with them when they are sick, and we help them wrestle with the challenges that this life brings. We constantly seek to love them as Christ loves us, even when their actions cause us hurt or disappointment. Ah, the things we do for our kids!

On this Father’s Day, I want to put a special call out to all the men in our parish. There is such a need today for men to be spiritual fathers—models of Christian manhood for others to see. We all watched in horror recently as George Floyd, a man who was a son, a brother, and a father, was killed. Many in our community have condemned the actions of several police officers and called for a reform. George Floyd won’t be remembered, because he was a security officer at a local club. He will be remembered, because he gave his life to raise awareness of the need for all of us to look at the ways in which some of our brothers and sisters are treated. Now, more than ever, we need men of faith to stand up for the values that Jesus Christ taught us.

Happy Father’s Day!
Deacon Tim

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