Meditation for the Day

Wednesday, March 27

May Each of Us Take the Time to Guide Those We Love, Especially Our Children, into Developing a Deeper Understanding and Love for the God Who Loves Us Unconditionally.

We hear in our First Reading today, from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses’ proclamation to God’s Chosen People, before taking possession of the Promised Land, “the land flowing with milk and honey”

“For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? Or what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?”

And then he goes on to say, “…teach them to your children and to your children’s children” – one of the first signs of catechesis we find in the Bible.

We also hear Jesus saying to His disciples, and to each of us, in today’s Gospel, “…whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

For those of us who are parents, how often do we hear our child ask the question “Why” or “How come”? – questions which fathers may often answer, “Go ask your mother.” Or mothers may say, “Go ask your father.”

And when it comes to religious practices or beliefs, the parents may oftentimes say, “When we go to church this Sunday, you can ask the priest or the deacon or the minister that question” – with the question oftentimes being forgotten by then.

However, questions of faith are very useful and go directly to the heart of what is at stake in the Scriptures which we read today. What we believe, and how our lives are guided by our beliefs, becomes the core of every young person seeking a sense of religious identity for him or herself, especially in a cultural environment which seems determined, at times, to eradicate any sense of religious or spiritual character in the young and impressionable.

Years ago, I remember seeing in my own grandchildren a hunger for the Eucharist; and my twin granddaughters would take great pride in memorizing grace before meals, and they would rush to see who would say it first for the family. They were at an age when they were always asking questions about Jesus and His Mother, whom they called “Mama Mary.”

But none of that would have happened if a window had not been opened to their faith. None of it would have happened if they were not fed with the wonders of a God who loves us unconditionally and beyond all human understanding.

“…teach them to your children and to your children’s children” and “…whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Children have so many questions today, “Why do we make the Sign of the Cross? The other kids don’t.” “Why do we put our finger in the bowl of water?” “Why is the water holy?” “How come we genuflect? He didn’t do it!” “Mommy, why can’t I receive that white thing like you do?” “What does it taste like?”

Endless questions – and, yet, they are the questions, when answered in the right way, which can guide our children into beginning their relationship of love and adoration for our Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are questions which can guide us into a relationship of love and honor for His Mother, Mary, and our Guardian Angel and the saints.

In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we hear our psalmist saying to us, “Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. For…he has blessed your children within you.” And it is within the heart of an innocent child in which we find the glorious wonder of God.

Jesus once said, ‘Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.’ Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.”

Sadly, we see on the evening news or read in the newspapers, or maybe we have witnessed it personally, violence perpetrated against youth, or even violent acts committed by youth against others. Terrible consequences can result when there is the absence of a true “fear of God.” When the heart is void of true adoration and worship, respect, love and obedience for the will of God in one’s life, then an intimate and loving relationship with God cannot exist; and, as a sad consequence, a loss of respect for others can only result.

All we need to do is look at our world today and the violence which exists in almost every country. All we need to do is study the events in our own human history – a history fraught with wars and violence against our fellow man, going all the way back to the Biblical account of Cain killing his brother Abel.

Our Lord explained to His disciples and to each of us, “…whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.”

And in another place He says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Teaching the truths of our faith falls upon the shoulders of each of us, both Church and family. In a homily our late Holy Father gave at a Mass he celebrated in 1995 in Brooklyn, New York, Pope St. John Paul II stated –

“Both parents must spend time with their children and be personally interested in their moral and religious education. Children need not only material support from their parents, but, more importantly, a secure, affectionate and morally correct family environment.”

He continues, “…parents must learn to form their family as a ‘domestic Church,’ a church in the home as it were, where God is honored, His Law is respected, prayer is a normal event, virtue is transmitted by word and example, and everyone shares the hopes, the problems and sufferings of everyone else.”

As you and I travel this Lenten journey and reflect upon our own relationship with our God, may each of us take the time to help those we love and hold dear to our hearts, guiding them to also foster, within themselves, a deeper appreciation and understanding for the God who “…so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

For those of us who are parents or will one day become parents, be our parenthood physical or spiritual, this is God’s commission to us in life. May we truly take it to heart! †

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? Or what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today? …teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” (Deuteronomy 4:7-8, 9c)
  • “And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
  • “Glorify the LORD, Jerusalem; Zion, offer praise to your God. For he has…blessed your children within you.” (Psalm 147:12, 13b)
  • “My spirit which is upon you and my words that I have put into your mouth shall never leave your mouth, nor the mouths of your children, nor the mouths of your children’s children from now on and forever, says the LORD.” (Isaiah 59:21bc)
  • “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)
  • ‘Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.’ Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.” (Mark 10:14b-16)
  • “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
  • “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

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Prayer for the Day

“Heavenly Father of all mankind,

who has given unto my care children,

and committed them to my charge

to bring them up for You,

and to prepare them for everlasting life:

“Assist me with Your Heavenly grace,

that I may be able to fulfill

this most sacred duty and stewardship

of those whom I love and hold most dear.

“Teach me both what to give and what to withhold;

when to reprove and when to forbear;

make me gentle, yet firm; considerate and watchful;

deliver me equally from the weakness of indulgence

and the excess of severity.

“Grant that, both by word and example,

I may be careful to lead them

in the ways of wisdom and true piety,

so that, at last, I may, with them, be admitted

to the incredible joys of our true home in Heaven,

in the company of all the blessed angels and saints. Amen.”

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