Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feast of Saint Maria de Mattias

Good morning.  Many are the paths which reveal to us the true character of a person.  In today’s Gospel King Herod demonstrates clearly that he is more concerned with being liked and maintaining his position within the community than to stand up and do the right thing.  He had John the Baptist beheaded rather than listen to his conscience and do what was right.  “The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her” (Mk 6:26).  As parents there is a very clear lesson in this Gospel passage for us, and there is likewise a lesson for us parents in the life of our Saint for today, Saint Maria de Mattias. 

The scripture reading for today offers a very clear lesson for us parents regarding the importance of fostering character formation and a virtuous lifestyle in our children.  Unlike King Herod who chose to respond to his need to be politically correct or maintain favor with his friends, as parents we need to be about instructing our children in being courageous enough to make the right decisions despite the desires and folly of their peers.  This can be difficult in a society where virtuous living is dismissed by cultural dictates of subjectivism and individualism, where happiness is defined by doing what is right for you and doing what works for you apart from any moral principles, and where the parental norm calls for being permissive and indulgent.  The life of today’s Saint speaks to this need for us to provide for our children the necessary tools for living a virtuous life.  The father of Saint Maria de Mattias offers us some insight into how we might best form moral and virtuous character in our children.  “Her father read the Scriptures to her when she was still very young, and she developed a great love for Jesus, the Lamb sacrificed for the salvation of humanity.” These words were taken from the Homily of Pope John Paul II on May 18, 2003 the occasion of her Canonization.  As parents it is our job to instill in our children an awareness that true happiness can only come from an appreciation for doing what is good and helping them live accordingly.  This is best taught by our own example.  Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts and works of Saint Maria de Mattias.

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