Editor’s note: Isla Josephine Narvasa was born on March 15.
By Mitchell Narvasa
I hope by the time you read this, I’ll be holding my newborn daughter, Isla, in my arms. It still boggles my mind to know that God has blessed Rebecca and me with four children to love, to protect and to raise in all his ways. God is so good.
As a husband, witnessing the pregnancy of the woman I love is humbling, but all four times, it’s left me more in awe of her and how God has made her and every woman’s body. Think about it. From the moment of conception, the woman’s body is giving everything the little person needs to grow. So much so that the mother experiences morning sickness and daily fatigue and exhaustion. She’s literally giving her physical self to create another “self.” God made the mother’s body a beautiful image of self-giving love!
What fascinates me even more is something I realized just a few weeks ago. The number “40” is a significant number in the Bible, from Noah and the number of days/nights it rained, to the number of years Israel wandered in the desert, all the way to Jesus who fasted in the desert for 40 days and nights. For 40 weeks, a woman “fasts” a normal life to help prepare for and give life to another. Jesus, for 40 days and nights, fasts food and water, physical sustenance for life, to prepare for his journey to the Cross where he ushered in new life for the world. A priest friend of mine always says, “it’s not coincidence; it is God-incidence.” So, God created the woman’s body to reflect Jesus’s total self-giving and creative love that delivered us from sin and into new life. How amazing and wonderful is our God!
So where do I, as a father, come in once that beautiful, new life has entered the picture? This Year of St. Joseph has taught me so much about my vocation as husband and father. I learned that I’m called to be obedient to God, to guard and protect my family and to teach and lead them towards the ways of God, among many other things. Then, as they mature into the saints that God is calling them to be, they become Christ’s hands and feet to build his kingdom here on earth. It doesn’t end there. If my children’s vocation is to have a family, they will repeat the cycle of laying down their lives in order to bring new lives, new saints, into the world, “blessing the nations” like God promised Abraham.
I’m the Director for Evangelization and Discipleship for St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf, but part of my vocation as a husband and father is to be the “Director of Evangelization and Discipleship” to my family, the domestic church. Evangelization, justice, peace, joy and worship all begin in the home, in the family. I’m overjoyed and truly blessed to be married to my supportive and holy wife, and to be the father of the craziest, most imaginative and loving kids I know. To God be all the Glory.
“Lord, I thank you for setting my path straight, for giving me purpose, for my children who show me your pure and beautiful love, and for my wife who reveals to me your strength and compassion, your creativity and mercy, your wisdom and your fidelity. I offer my family up to your Divine Will for their sanctification, protection and salvation. All of this I pray in the power of your holy name, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
(Mitchell Narvasa serves as Pastoral Associate and Director of Discipleship & Evangelization for St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf.)