Friday, December 30, 2005

Reflection on Today's Readings

Today's readings are:
Reading I - Sir 3:2-7, 12-14
Responsorial Psalm - Ps. 128:1-2, 4-5
Gospel - Lk 2:22-40

There were several reading to choose from for Reading I. I'd like to just reflect on the one I cited above. As I read this, I couldn't help but think of the Beatitudes. It is written in the same if-then framework. And, too, they both are instructions for all of God's children.

Today's reading gives instructions to children, and to parents. I like the fact that to focus of the reading was preservation of the family. Fathers honoring their children, mother's authority over her sons. Instructions to children to honor their parents and if they do, their prayers will be heard, and live a long life and will be gladdened by children. It continues to say that children must take care of their parents in old age, when they are sick, and even if their mind fails.

Our society is not set up this way. I am seeing, not children caring for their parents, but parents caring for their grandchildren. Every day I am reminded by my students, by their very presence, that in today's society too many parents are refusing to honor their God-given responsibilities to care for their own children and abandoning them. How can we tell those children to honor their father and mother or grandmother or guardian when they have been abandoned?
"Lord, be with all expecting and existing mothers and fathers, that they may recognize their responsibility on caring for their own children, as You care for us. Give them the strength to raise their children so that in the parents' time of need their children may in return honor and care to them. We ask this through Your Son, our Lord. Amen"

The Gospel is very uplifting today. Again we see the focus on family, as The Holy Family goes to Jeruselem for the Presentation of Jesus. Luke tells us that when this was don, "they returned to Nazareth where Jesus became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him."

I wish I knew more of Jesus growing up. I imagine him acting like any other boy at the time, playing, helping his parents, learning. I wonder how much grief he gave Mary? How proud were Mary and Joseph while he was growing up? Or were they saddened because they knew what was to going to eventually happen to Jesus - the suffering and humiliation he would endure.
"Lord, as parents we thank You for the wonderful gift of our children. Give us strength as we raise them as one of Your children. Help us to find time to watch them with the same wonder and joy with which they see You and the world. Keep us mindful of our ministry as parents and the awesome responsibility You have given us. It is through Your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen"

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