Happy Father's Day to all dads Print
Seeing with Jesus' Eyes

Adam Hamilton tells a story about a camping trip he took with his two young daughters. The trip coincided with his birthday.

He explained to his two daughters that each could have 20 dollars each to spend during the three days they were camping there. The two girls were so excited that they practically dragged their dad to the gift shop just outside the camp.

Rebecca, his daughter, who often thought with her heart, spotted a Brewers baseball cap. She immediately picked it up and tried it on.

"What do you think, Dad?'' she asked.

Her dad, who was a Cubs fan, replied sternly, "You look pretty in it, Honey, but that hat costs 20 dollars! If you buy it, you won't have money left to spend the next two and a half days!"

"But Dad," Rebecca protested, "All I want is this hat and I really don't care if I don't have any more money to spend!''

That evening they sat by the lake and watched the sun set like a beautiful orange red host into the chalice of the lake.

Rebecca hugged her dad and said "Here is my birthday gift to you!" Then she put the hat on his head. "Happy birthday, Dad. I love you!"

Dad took Rebecca in his arms and hugged her. His tears mingled with Rebecca's tears.

The cap quickly became one of his most treasured possessions. He is now a Brewers fan. Every time he wears it, he thinks of Rebecca's sacrificial love for him.

Rebecca reminds me of the widow who gave everything she had to the temple treasury.

Celebrating fathers

We celebrate Father's Day on June 17 this year. Father's Day was started by Sonora Smart Dodd, who loved her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran just as much as Rebecca loved her dad. With Dodd's help, he heroically raised six children after his young wife died while giving birth to their youngest child.

In 1909, while listening to a sermon about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Dodd was bothered that there was not a day to honor fathers. So she organized the first Father's Day in Spokane, Wash., on June 19, 1910.

On January 28, 2015, in his general audience catechesis, Pope Francis said, "Fathers play an irreplaceable role in family life, and their absence leaves children prey to false idols."

A father needs to spend quality time with his children.

One of the best gifts a father can give to his children is to love their mother. As Pope John Paul II said, "Children are the hope of the future!"

Fr. Donald Lange is a pastor emeritus in the Diocese of Madison.