The many examples on the sublime mission of being a father.
| August 13, 2023
Ser Pai (Being a Father) | At this moment in which we celebrate “Father’s Day”, the UDV Blog invites us to reflect on the mission of “Being a Father” with this beautiful text written by Mestre Antônio de Pádua*.
Ser Pai (Being a Father)
Being a father always was and always will be synonymous with responsibility, commitment, and willingness. It is loving unconditionally, looking after with all the care necessary, wanting to be close to one’s children in the most important moments, and being an example for them. Being a father is also knowing how to give oriental counsel that our children can take with them throughout their lives, watching over them without being seen, knowing the right time to let them go, giving them freedom, and trusting in the principles that they have been taught.
Throughout human history we have some figures that have stood out with regards to this sublime mission. One of them, a model son and reflection of his father, is Joseph of Egypt, son of Jacob, patriarch of the Hebrew people. This Joseph showed how in life he learned that in order to be a good father, one first has to be a good son. From an early age, he gave good examples of how a son owes obedience to his father. Always honoring him, respecting him, and admiring him.
Even after having been sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph of Egypt forgave them of their folly due to the simple fact that he sought to cultivate the good feelings in his heart, transmitted to him by his father. And it was precisely through the practice of the virtuous principles learned within the family that he reached a place of authority. As an authority, he spared no efforts to bring Jacob and his family from Israel, where they lived in extreme difficulty, and welcomed him in the Land of the Pharaohs with love, affection, and dedication. This example shows us the value of obedience to one’s father. An obedient son is victorious.
Another Joseph, no less important, who bore the great responsibility of providence and provision, was the carpenter chosen by God to exercise with excellence his place as head of a family of the highest order, the “Holy Family.”
Joseph, a just, humble, and honest man, discreetly stood out in the story of greatest significance for us Christians. He honorably fulfilled the mission of being father to Jesus and guardian of the Holy Mary. In carrying out his mission, he sometimes had to face afflictions and hardships to keep them safe, as is the case when they “fled to Egypt” and escaped King Herod’s soldiers and went to live for a few years, far from their relatives, their home, and their customs, while he still provided the necessary subsistence for his son and wife; or during the three days that Jesus disappeared when he went to the city of the Jerusalem. These were difficult times when Joseph, the carpenter, tirelessly sought to exercise his duty as a father with courage, with the aim of safeguarding his son’s physical integrity. In this case, we can observe the value of his dedication to the family.
In the path of great fatherly examples, we also have José Gabriel da Costa, Mestre Gabriel.
José, the son from Coração de Maria, married Mestre Pequenina and had 11 children. He taught them by example and by the word. Virtues such as honesty, obedience, and speaking the truth were present daily in their home. He taught his children the art of living well and prepared them to attend the university of life. This school, which may not have had the formal education commonly learned in other institutions, contained a spiritual graduation they absorbed from the wise Mestre.
José, the Gabriel of the Mariri, impacted the lives of his children in such a way that he will live forever in each one of their memories. The memory of José Gabriel that remained with his children was of an attentive and friendly father. Always present in all moments for Getúlio, Jair, Jandira, Carmiro, Maria das Graças, Abomir, José Gabriel Filho, Salomão, Carmiranda, Vicente and Benvino.
Our Mestre also comes as a father to all the caianinhos, showing us the path to follow, guiding our steps and welcoming everyone with his loving heart. This José brought meaning to the saying of old, “it’s not enough to just be a Father, one has to be present.”
I wish health and joy for all and may the light of kindness reign in our homes, with the winds of wisdom blowing in the direction of all the fathers of our Sacred União.