"Fathers and Love" by Sheri Wohlfert (CatholicMom.com) Via Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain

On Sunday we celebrate two beautiful occasions, the feast of The Body and Blood of Christ and Father's Day. As different as they may seem, there is an element that connects them both: the celebration of a Father’s love for His children.

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I remember many years ago when the three little Wohlferts were small, I gave them each ten dollars and took them to a giant hardware store and told them they could pick out any Father's Day present they thought their dad would like. We were in the store for nearly an hour until each of them had walked up and down the aisles selecting the perfect gift within their budget. The patience, focus and love they put into their selections warmed my heart.

Jason was, of course, the first one done and he purchased snacks he knew his dad liked; oddly enough they were snacks he enjoyed too. He also picked out a new ball. On the card, he wrote a note about how glad he was that his Dad had taught him how important it was to share and play.

Kevin was practical and logical with his purchase. He chose a pair of safety glasses with a little spotlight on each side. He wanted to make sure his dad was protected and could always see what was before him.

Shannon selected a daisy-shaped rain gauge that was literally as tall as she was. She was sure her daddy would love it because it wouldn’t get lost and the markings were so plain to see he would never be confused.

The laughter and joy around our table that Father's Day as each of the kids watched Dave unwrap the gifts was priceless. They were so excited to show their love and so anxious to please the father they loved so much.

Just like that Father's Day long ago, many of us will be giving gifts to our fathers, but this Sunday the Holy Catholic Church focuses on the precious gift given BY the Father; the gift of Jesus His Son. Father’s Day gifts come once a year but the Father's gift to us comes again and again;, each time we meet him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Each time we receive this gift of magnificent sacrifice and extreme love at Mass, we become a walking Tabernacle, but do we really “get it”? Do we realize the Father loves us so much that he would give us His Son as a means to draw us near and guide us back to the foot of His throne in heaven? In our human frailty its difficult to comprehend such a gift so He asks us on this day to simply ponder and pray about the gift of His Son’s Body and Blood given freely and mercifully to us every single time we come to His table.

As we ponder the greatness and the mystery of this feast, perhaps it would help to put it in perspective. Take some time to prayerfully consider all the ways the Body and Blood of Christ invites and changes us. We were created to be saints and the Body and Blood of Christ is the food we need for that journey. The simple gifts my children gave their Father years ago bear some resemblance to the gifts the Father gives us each time we receive His Son's Precious Body and Blood. Like Jason’s gift, it is an opportunity for us to share in His Holy Sacrifice and it gives us strength to share the news of such a life-giving gift with others. Like Kevin’s gift, it protects us and helps light the path to the Father. And like Shannon’s gift it makes things clear and drives away confusion and doubt.

As we approach the altar to receive Jesus, may we be ever more aware and in awe of the gift we are given. Perhaps we should take as much time and care to prepare to receive Jesus as my kids did to select the gift for their dad.

Lord, help us be excited, joyful and anxious to please the Father as we receive the Precious Body and Blood of His Son, Jesus.

Copyright 2017 Sheri Wohlfert