Chaplain’s Message

Chaplain’s Article for June 2023
June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is also the celebration of Father’s Day. When Jesus
told the Apostles that they had seen the Father, they said they had not. But Jesus said, “When you have
seen me you HAVE seen the Father.” The way Jesus lived was a revelation of the Father. To see how
Jesus cared for others, the sick, the poor, the outcasts, the sinners, the foreigners, and treated them with
love as a Father loves each of His children and is there them in their needs, shows us the Father’s Heart.
Jesus’ words and teachings are like a Father who instructs His children in the truths of life, how to live
their lives to find the most happiness and how to stay out of trouble, shows us the Heart of Jesus and the
Father’s Heart. We see how Jesus is there like a loving Father feeding the 5000 and the 7000, like a
father feeding His family on a summer picnic out in the country. We see Jesus going out fishing with His
friends, like a father takes his children out fishing on the boat and helping them to make a catch. We see
Jesus taking care of the Apostles on the Boat when the storm arises and brings them safety as the
Father protects His children when there are the storms in life. We see Jesus revealing His Heart when
He brings mercy to the repentant sinners and even seeks them out to bring them back, revealing the
Heart of the Prodigal Father, who when the troubled child returns, is watching out for them, runs up and
hugs them, kisses them, washes them with Mercy, and dresses them with clean clothes of returned Love
and Grace, welcoming them home. We all go astray, but we should never fear returning, like Jesus
seeking out the troubled, and forgiving them and welcoming them into His company, so the Father does
the same for us. Jesus’ Heart reveals the Father’s Heart. Jesus said, “He who sees you sees Me, and
he who sees Me, sees Him who sent Me, the Father. So, we are asked to imitate Jesus, who imitates the
Father, to bring the Father to the people we meet. As Jesus does, we are to do also, to show we are one
family of the Father.
No wonder when the Apostles asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He taught them the “Our Father,”
which puts in words what Jesus was doing by His teachings, example, words, actions and attitudes to
reveal the Father. Just beginning with “Our Father,” not Almighty Creator, but Father of us ALL, sets the
theme. The word for “Father” Jesus used was “Abba”, more like “Papa or Daddy,” like a little child would
use who is scared, or confused, or lonely and wants to run into the protecting arms and love of Daddy
who will make the child feel safe, and who they know they can trust, and who loves them, and wants to
have fun with them each, as important in his heart. The prayer speaks of the Father’s Kingdom that it
may come. That reminds us that as we live in the world, we do not belong to the world or the family of the
world, we belong to God’s family which lives and acts differently. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is done
in Heaven,” continues that thought, as Jesus prayed before He did anything to do only the Father’s will,
and at the end of the day to recollect the day and put the events and people encountered into the
Father’s Heart. So, we also should begin the day and each project and decision with prayer seeking the
Father’s will and blessings. Then practically Jesus goes on, of how the Father is there for us, and as a
father is there for his family, as we see in the life of Jesus. “Give us this day our daily bread,” as Jesus
fed the crowds with all they needed so we ask our Father to do the same, with a Father’s love to feed us
and to take care of our material needs. But we too are asked to imitate the Father and provide for the
hungry, not only in our own families but the hungry in our country and abroad, to feed the crowds to bring
the Father’s love. “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” As Jesus
forgave the sinner and gave a new beginning and does the same with us in Confession, so we are to be
prodigal fathers who bring mercy, forgiveness, welcome to our children, but also others who have sinned
and wandered off. We need to realize we all need a welcome and second chance when we have learned
our lesson and want to come back home. So, if we want forgiveness, it is a gift to give others as we
forgive and show acts of mercy to change the world to be closer to the image of our eternal home in
heaven. “And lead us not into temptation.” A good Father watches out for what may be a dangerous
situation and keeps the child from it, so we are asked to avoid all near occasions of sin that will be a trap
for us and keep our children from them also. “But deliver us from Evil,” God is all Good, the Creator of
everything that is Good, Beautiful and True. So, God as our Father is there to protect us and call us from
the enticements of the Devil. Jesus goes to battle to fight the Devil by casting Him out of those
possessed, and ultimately even fights to His death and resurrection to conquer the Devil and death to
show how far the Father’s Love will go for us. So, we too do battle in this life with prayers and blessings
over our family members, and by teaching the truth. And we bring them to the Conqueror, Jesus, in the
Mass and Sacraments, to unite them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who inserts them into the loving
Heart of the Father, who created and loves them all as His Children. We also are called to do battle in
this world, like Jesus, standing up for what is true against the lies and forces of evil to see that good wins
out in the end. “Amen”, so it is, so it will aways be true. Jesus reveals in His Sacred Heart the Heart of
the Father, and so we, by imitating Jesus are to bring in our own lives the Sacred Heart of the Father
lived out in our families and in the world today by being loving fathers ourselves imitating Jesus. “He who
sees you, sees Me, and he who sees Me, sees the Father!” Happy Father’s Day!
– Fr. Bob Mraz

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