Father's Day 2018 Homily
Father’s Day, June 17, 2018
A Reflection by Rev. Robert Johnnene OFM
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Order Franciscans of Mercy

“With God as our father, brothers all are we. Let us work with each other for perfect harmony” These words from the song LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH are full of intense meaning for each one of us if we take a good look at what they are acknowledging. 
On this Father’s Day most children seek to find a special gift for their earthly fathers. 
Some children have two fathers and, in my mind, this could be a double blessing for them and unfortunately some children have never known their earthly father because of their passing before they had a chance to know them or through divorce or other circumstances.
My father was called home to God in 1976 at the age of 76 but I still have times when I want to talk with him and times when I feel his presence or hear his words. 
As a father of three and a grandfather I know how much I love my children and grandchildren and I am but a mere mortal man, how much more does our Heavenly Father love each one of us?
With God as our Father, we are all, every person on this planet, brothers and sisters and we are also brothers and sisters to Jesus Christ, the son of God our father.
Why is it then that we have so much trouble getting along with each other and why do we try to exclude some of our brothers and sisters from giving their heavenly father the worship and praise He deserves just because they are a different race or religion or have a sexual orientation toward a member of the same sex or because they are divorced.
Why is it that we do not look out for the well being of those brothers and sisters who are not as well of as we are or need special attention because of physical or mental or medical reasons?
The father in the story of the Prodigal Son was willing to overlook his son’s transgressions and welcome him back with a feast and a celebration which is how our heavenly father will welcome everyone who returns to Him.
Our Father in heaven is a loving, caring, compassionate and merciful father, not the God of vengeance of the Old Testament and Christ proclaimed that while He was here on earth. 
Now is the time for each one of us, to acknowledge that we are all brothers and sisters with the same heavenly father and for us to begin to act with the same compassion and love toward each other that Christ exhibited while he was on earth to all He encountered. 
It is time for us to speak up against injustice, bigotry, violence, bullying, discrimination, war and poverty and to make a gift that is truly meaningful to our heavenly father, God Almighty.
The best way for us to be blessed and follow Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is to put the seven practices of charity toward our neighbor into action.
They are based on Christ’s prophecy of the Last Judgment, which will determine each person’s final destiny as found in Matthew 25: 33-35 “Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, Shelter the homeless, Visit the sick, Visit those in prison, and Bury the dead.  “Then the righteous will answer him, ’Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?’ And the king will answer them, ’Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.”
On this Fathers day let us make a gift to God that will be truly pleasing to Him and take an action in keeping with how we as brothers and sisters should be acting and let’s begin to make a change in this world that will bring about a time of brotherhood for all not just a select few chosen by one group or another.
Today’s Gospel tells the story of the tiny mustard seed that grows into a huge tree and Christ told us in Luke 17; "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you” Faith in God our father can bring us through all adversity so let us pray to our heavenly father in the words Jesus taught us to pray; as Christ taught us to pray; “When you pray, say, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed is your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on this earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive our trespassers and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil” and then we acknowledge “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. AMEN”