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FAMILY – GOD’S FUNDAMENTAL INSTITUTION.  
  Posted On : 04 Jan 2017   Posted by Fr. Editorial  
 

FAMILY – GOD’S FUNDAMENTAL INSTITUTION.

“Family, like the branches on a tree, all grow in different directions, and yet the roots remain as one.”
When God created Adam and Eve he blessed them to increase and multiply over all the earth.  God thus founded the concept of family.  Adam’s family was the first to occupy the earth.  God created man and woman as one being and commanded no one to separate them.  He put His seal of approval on this union.  Since then technological and scientific progress of mankind has left its positive and negative effects on the family.  Traditional values, the discipline of a time of prayer in families, time spent together as a family have all vanished in the face of modernism and the fast life of the people.  Everyone wants his or her ‘space’ and does not like ‘interference’ of another in his or her life.   This is the sad situation of the family today because of which most families have major adjustment issues if not falling apart altogether.

 

ROLE OF PARENTS IN THE FAMILY:     By God’s decree man is the head of the family.  Ideally a husband plays the role of a provider, a companion to his wife and as a father, a strict disciplinarian.  A woman is the heart of the family.  Her loving presence binds the family and brings about unity.  What a woman lacks in terms of physical strength, she makes up by her emotional stability.  She is the shock¬- absorber in the family.  Every family should be a family that prays together to be united.  However, in this present time man lacks nothing but ‘Time’ and hides behind this excuse for not praying.  Luxuries, wealth, comforts are all taken care of with hard work but the general statement heard in many families is “We have no time to pray” or “We say our individual prayers before sleeping.”  Little do they realize that the enemy is slowly robbing them of peace and their children are becoming out of control because the wall of protection that prayer provides has been lowered allowing the enemy to infiltrate in.  Therefore, it is imperative that parents instill the habit of prayer into their children from their very early years.  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Parents are role models for growing children in the family.  Parents who quarrel in front of their children cause many psychological problems to develop in them.  Children who grow up in a loving atmosphere can concentrate on their studies and build up a career for themselves.  They are free from emotional trauma.  Children who are subjected to violent fights in the house are fearful, insecure, always wondering if they will be part of a broken family.  Such children seek comfort, acceptance and guidance from friends and are more often led into bad habits like smoking, drinking and use of drugs to live in a state of euphoria because they lack peace at home.  A growing child can sense the behavior pattern of parents.  Children are very perceptive and can pick up signals both positive and negative.  For instance, if both parents are not agreeable on the matter of discipline then the child will play one parent against the other.  The child will complain to the parent who favours it about the parent who is trying to discipline.  This often leads to arguments between the spouses.  So it is necessary for both parents to be of one mind while disciplining their children. 

 

God blesses the married couple with children.   He appoints them as custodians of their children’s soul.  Parents are responsible and answerable to God for the souls of their children.  Hence it is their duty as parents to discipline them, teach them good morals and values.  Today’s children are subjected to peer-pressure and they imitate what their friends do.  From an early age parents must monitor the type of friends their children have.  Children and youth demand money from their parents.  Parents relent by giving them money either to pamper them or to get rid of their irritating persistence for money.  This is the root cause of children going astray.  Without money they cannot do much.  By giving them money, they won’t value it and most often spend it on pursuing bad habits ‘just because their friends are doing it’.   Parents usually say ‘Yes’ to all of their children’s demands.  This is a wrong practice.  From the time children are small parents must say ‘No’ to their children’s demands.  Only then will they accept a ‘No’ when they become youth.  A child who is used to having ones own way from childhood will not be any different when it becomes a youth.  It is difficult to bend a mature plant for it will break but the plant can be well bent when it is tender. 

 

Parents who find that their youth have gone astray and far from God must not despair.  God loves every soul he has created and wants to save everyone.  This is evident from Jesus’ parables of the Good Shepherd and lost sheep, the Prodigal Son etc.  Parents have to have faith in God, believing that He, more than anyone else, wants to save the soul of their son or daughter.  A mother’s supplication before the Lord is a strong one.  Her tears before the Lord will not go unnoticed or ignored.  God in His own time will bring back the erring soul to His sheep-fold.  He may use circumstances and a little pruning but if the parents keep faith in His mercy He will surely turn the impossible situation into something beautiful.  It is all a matter of faith.   Faith comes from hearing the Word of God hence it is said, “Blessed is the family who delights in the Word of the Lord and meditates on it day and night.  The family will be like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in its season.”    Parents who are themselves spiritual may have youth who do not join in family prayer or read the Word of God.  Some may not even attend Sunday Mass.  This hurts the parents who themselves love the Lord and when they see their children not having the same love for God causes them to despair.  Let not the enemy rob you of your peace.  Prayer is the key that unlocks many doors.  Parents must pray with faith and know that the Lord will always hear their prayers on behalf of their children.  

 

ROLE OF CHILDREN TOWARDS THEIR PARENTS:    Eph.6:1-4: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.  Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
The above text from scripture shows that it is God’s will that children and youth remain subjected to their parents.  If the commandment of honouring ones parents is followed diligently, many blessings are given to such children.  God will be with all that they do and the work of their hands will prosper.  Obedience to parents is like being obedient to God which pleases Him.  Parents have learnt life’s lessons by making mistakes and gained experience.  So it will do well for children and youth to listen to what their parents say.   Sons and daughters must also take care of their parents in their old age as they have taken care of them since their birth.   “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”– Mother Teresa.

 

Leona D’Souza
O.C.D.S.

 

 

 
     
 
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    30-Oct-2021 - Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time LECTIONARY: 484 FIRST READING: Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. PSALM: 94:12-13a, 14-15, 17-18 Response: The Lord will not abandon his people. Blessed the man whom you instruct, O LORD, whom by your law you teach, Giving him rest from evil days. For the LORD will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance; But judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it. Were not the LORD my help, my soul would soon dwell in the silent grave. When I say, “My foot is slipping,” your mercy, O LORD, sustains me. GOSPEL Luke 14:1, 7-11 One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Source: official website of Archdiocese of Mumbai (https://www.archdioceseofbombay.org/)
     
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