News day / ARCHBISHOP of Port of Spain Jason Gordon, Chief Celebrant at the mass commemorating the Feast of St Joseph that took place at First Capital Park following a procession from the St Joseph RC Church yesterday, told the congregation that TT desperately need the gift of fatherhood, which he likened to St Joseph.

“There are fathers who make children and don’t own them. But here is a father who didn’t make a child but he owned his son, Jesus, and taught him how to become a son, how to become a man, how to relate to a father, how to trust an elder man, how to trust a mentor and how to trust a father figure. Joseph was a true father to Jesus,” Gordon said.

Gordon added: “If Joseph was good enough to teach Jesus, I think Joseph is good enough to teach you and me. And he has a special part to play in our nation. Because in our nation we need fathers to be more like Joseph. Fathers who are dedicated to their children, spending time with them, growing up with them, being present with them, experiencing what it is to bond specially with them, giving them the most precious gift of fatherhood and that is one of the gifts that this nation need most desperately.”

Fr Gordon put the question to the men in the congregation: “Fellas help me out here, fellas come nah, help me! (Mild laughter in the congregation). If your beloved sweetheart came to you while you all were engaged and said this story to you and you know you didn’t do anything, what would you say?” to some of the answers he said: “Yeah right! Serious?”

The Archbishop then stated: “It takes incredible faith to trust what Mary had just said to Joseph. But Joseph, through a dream, when an angel came to him and told him do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife because she was conceived by a Holy Spirit, bended his heart to the heart of God and in so doing opened salvation history for all of us.”

He lamented that the absence of our fathers in our households and the absence of the fathers to the children is one of the greatest wounds in our nation’s experiences, saying that that wound creates havoc right through a child’s life. He said: “You can’t make up in adulthood what you missed out as a child.

“We need mothers and fathers for our children.

The image of Joseph is important for us as a nation and for us as a people because we need fathers like Joseph in this land. And when fathers do what they are supposed to do, in committing themselves to their wives and family then children grow up differently and they experience an internal sense of peace inside of themselves and a sense of wellness inside of themselves because they know what it is to be loved unconditionally by a father who has always been there for them physically and emotionally.”

Archbishop Gordon then called on fathers to ask Joseph, to be their patron guide, and to reflect on their own relationships with Jesus, their fathers and their children, and become the father God wants them to be despite whatever stage they are in their journey.

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