"Take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering — it will take lasting root." —Sirach 3:12-14
More children than ever before are being cared for by people other than their parents. More elderly people are being cared for by people other than their children than at any other time in history. These trends are not all bad. Some of this care for children and the elderly is Christ-centered. It is an expression of compassion for those in difficult circumstances. Nevertheless, the Lord's plan in general is for parents to be the primary care-givers for their children and children for their parents.
All this care is humanly impossible to give. This can motivate us to cry out to the Lord and receive His gift of unconditional love. This will then make our families "holy families." For our families to begin to become holy, it is necessary "to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Mal 3:24). Then they will care and pray for one another and by God's grace be holy.
As Herod tried to destroy the Holy Family (see Mt 2:13), so new Herods are trying to destroy your family and its holiness. Protect your family by sacrificially and unconditionally loving your parents and children. Be holy.
Prayer: Father, may our families be holy as You are holy (see 1 Pt 1:16).
Promise: "You who are wives, be submissive to your husbands. This is your duty in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives. Avoid any bitterness toward them." —Col 3:18-19
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Son of Mary, Son of Man, and Son of God!
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflets, How to Get Your Kids to Go to Church and Go to Heaven, and Healing Adult Children from Dysfunctional Families.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998