Today’s readings are a lesson for fathers on Father’s Day. They remind us of the role we play in God’s plan. We may be big and mighty like a great cedar, but, as shown in the first reading from Ezekiel, our stature must serve a purpose. Even the greatest cedar tree is subject to the power of God, who brings the loftiest part of that tree down to earth, plants it, and propagates new life.

“It will put out branches and bear fruit and grow into a noble cedar tree. Every kind of bird will live beneath it, every kind of winged creature will rest in the shade of its branches.”

In the gospel reading Christ offers this lesson by starting small, with the mustard seed–which is tiny and humble, but by the grace of God grows into a mighty shrub. The greatest role models in history started small and humble like this, including Christ himself. But they grew into into their lofty stature, and in the process, protected and sheltered others.

“…a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.”

Growing into this nurturing role is a trial and error process and we shrubs must weather many storms and blizzards; all while continuing to protect our families. Yet, while providing this protection, we fathers are also protected by God, the Father of Fathers.