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Saturday, December 16, 2023

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Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Matthew 17:9-13

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fathers, rebuild my church

“To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons…” —Sirach 48:10

Research studies show that the only statistically significant factor in a child’s future church attendance is the church attendance of that child’s father during their childhood. Fathers play an irreplaceable role in their child’s life. Fathers have a short window of opportunity and they are to succeed by being present and faith-filled in the early years of their child’s life.

Everything the heavenly Father does He shows to His Son, Jesus (Jn 5:20). In imitation of God the Father, earthly fathers are well-advised to show their children everything they do, whether that is going to Church or digging a garden. Fathers must know that their children, like Jesus, “can only do what [they see their] father doing” (Jn 5:19). Fathers, what do your children see you do? What do they see you not doing? God gave fathers to their children to be examples of His fatherly love. Fathers, you hold in your hands, literally, the future of the world and the Church.

Fathers, by giving your lives sacrificially to the Lord, you can do what the Lord told to St. Francis of Assisi: “Rebuild My Church.” God’s plan for families is to “turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons” and daughters (Sir 48:10; Lk 1:17). In this fatherly love, the hearts of the children will be turned back to their fathers and a future of doom averted (Mal 3:24). God says: “Fathers, rebuild My Church!”

Prayer:  Father, give fathers Your very own heart. Bless them with Your Shepherd’s care for Your people, especially for their children.

Promise:  “Elijah is indeed coming, and he will restore everything.” —Mt 17:11

Praise:  Though confined to a nursing home, Mary continues her ninety-one years of faithful service to the Lord by attending daily Mass.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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