show and tell
"The Father loves the Son and everything the Father does He shows Him." —John 5:20
A home-schooling father once quoted the above Scripture verse in a talk he gave to a group of fathers. He said that, as a father, he has tried to imitate God the Father by loving his sons and daughters and showing them everything he does, as much as possible.
God delivered King Hezekiah from a terminal illness and granted him fifteen extra years of life (Is 38:5). Hezekiah seemed to understand God's purpose for his new life, saying: "Fathers declare to their sons, O God, Your faithfulness" (Is 38:19). Three years later, he fathered a son named Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:1). Hezekiah had twelve years left to live, but he put his energies into his projects. He proudly showed his political allies everything (see 2 Kgs 20:13, 15). Sadly, he didn't take time to show much or "declare God's faithfulness" to his young son. Hezekiah died, and Manasseh took over the kingdom at age twelve (2 Kgs 21:1). This boy was king for fifty-five years, and was one of the most evil kings Israel ever had (2 Kgs 21:11, 16). By contrast, St. Joseph quietly spent His life loving his Foster-Son Jesus and showing Him everything he knew. Jesus grew up to be the greatest "King of the Jews" (Jn 19:19), the King of kings (Rv 19:16).
St. Paul advised: "Fathers, do not anger your children" (Eph 6:4). It is tempting for a father to take the short-term, easy way out and yell at his children. Instead, fathers are called to invest their lives patiently bringing their children "up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord" (Eph 6:4). Fathers are not to nag children, since they might lose heart (Col 3:21). A child wants his father to show him the ropes. He can lose heart when his busy father hands him a "how-to" video.
Whatever the father does, the son does likewise (see Jn 5:19).
Prayer: Lord, turn the hearts of fathers to their children (Mal 3:24).
Promise: "The Lord comforts His people and shows mercy to His afflicted." —Is 49:13
Praise: St. Vincent's motto was: "Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God."
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999