Sunday Homily (Full Text)

Sunday Homily

Homily:  Father Don Knuffman
Blessed Sacrament Parish
June 16, 2013 - 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time
10 AM Service

My brothers and sisters in Christ, today we have the special opportunity to recognize our fathers.  Let us take some time to call to mind the many things and the many activities performed for us by our fathers during our lives.  Fatherhood involves the wonderful character of sharing and giving thanks.  We can define it, but it only tells us so much.

I think we are closer to the truth when we use those precious moments of our life and we share them about our fathers.  I am going to share a couple of those precious times with you that I experienced with my own father.  

The first one is:  I was about in the second grade. That seems to be the popular age to have your tonsils taken out.   Well, I did real well on the first part of having the tonsils removed, although there was some bleeding following the operation.  But a few days later my throat began to bleed quite a bit more.  So my father called the doctor, Dr. Woodcock, and the doctor said, “I'll meet you at the clinic.”

So dad drove me to the clinic.  Well, after an hour of vicious and a terribly exhausting effort, the doctor still couldn't stop the bleeding.  Finally the doctor said, “We are going to have to take your son to the hospital.”  I remember coming out of the clinic and my dad was holding me in his arms.  And he said, “Don't worry, son.  It's going to be all right.”  Those are pretty powerful words when you are in a position and you don't know where you're at, and don't know where you're going.  But it turned out to be true.  I got through it fine, and was OK.

The part that was especially important to me was the attention that my father gave me.  He didn't complain that he had to drive another forty miles that night. He didn't complain because he had to pay a doctor's bill.  He just said, “You'll be all right.”

Another time I saw my father in action was when my brother had pneumonia.  Dr. Davidson, who was the last resident doctor to live in the little village of Liberty, came to our home and examined my brother. After much discussion with my parents, it was decided that rest and medicine would be the best treatment.  I remember that the next morning I got up earlier than I ever did in my life, before or after.  I wondered, “How is my brother?  Is he all right?  Will he be all right?”  When you are seven years old those medical terms don't tell you too much except, “Look out.  Don't be afraid.”

Here is a story that is especially important to me. In the springtime there was always a lot of work to be done. One time as I was coming home from school I saw my father up by the house.  That was unusual because he was usually working in the field.  As I got closer he seemed to be quite excited in a positive way.  He said, “I've got something I want to show you.”

So we went out to the barn and he opened a couple of doors that had not been opened for forty years, and there in the middle of the driveway was this tractor.  He said, “I have the opportunity to buy this tractor but I want to ask you what you think about it.   Do you think it would be a good idea?”

The fastest answer I ever gave to anything came forth.  “Yes,” I said.

My last story is that in the summertime when we were not in school, my father would bring us to Quincy to visit our cousins.  There was one special place we liked to go to on East Broadway and it was called Willer's Dairy. They had something that was very good - ice cream.  And I still remember, in those days you could buy one dip of ice cream for five cents.  A real bargain I think we would say today.

All those experiences have been very precious to me.  That's what I think about on this Father's Day.  And I hope you will also have the joy of remembering things about your father today.  

God Bless you.

Father Don Knuffman is a senior priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Quincy, Illinois.
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