Holy Family

Holy Family

Monday, February 27, 2012

Feast of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Good morning. It is Lent, that time again when everyone becomes engaged in zeroing in on their imperfections, focusing on their erring ways towards becoming that better self. Now, I certainly believe that we need to be aware of our sinful ways; in fact much of what is wrong with our world is that we have lost a sense of sin and our responsibility for our sins. As parents we need to be mindful of our obligation to instruct our children in choosing to do what is right. Yet, the readings go further than reminding us to teach right from wrong; we likewise are required to instruct our children to go beyond just choosing right from wrong. In the Gospel for today Jesus reminds us that it will not just be a matter of accepting Him as our Savior, or merely obeying His commands, but that in the end we will be judged by the choices we make regarding the needs of others. He said, “What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.” (Mt 25: 45) Throughout the readings for today we are reminded to respond to our brothers and sisters with love and compassion.

As parents this requires going beyond just instructing our children to do right from wrong; it requires teaching them to make good choices which requires character. Character is all about making the right choices, and that can at times be difficult. This is where parental instruction goes beyond just teaching right from wrong. Fact is, most people know when they are about to cross the line between right and wrong, but it isn’t just the knowing what is right and wrong but it is also the desire to do good which in the end determines our choices. It is here where, as parents, we need to be about providing our children an understanding of why they should choose the right thing. Part of the problem in teaching our children to make good choices is that doing the right thing is not always convenient, or popular, and being right is not always easy. Making the right choices in a culture that seems at times to confuse right with wrong, that suggest all is relative, can be quite difficult which is why it is important that we teach our children that doing the right thing is more than a feeling, it is about knowing what is right or wrong and that there are things which are absolutely right and wrong. It begins with the choices they see us make with our lives. Our Saint for today, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, has much to offer to us by example of his very brief, but holy life. In fact the lives of the Saints are an excellent way to introduce our children to the importance of making good choices. Our late pope, Blessed Pope John Paul II, often spoke of his concern for family life, and he frequently noted that the overall understanding of the way we as persons, as children of God, develop through life is through what the Church refers to as the Domestic Church—the Family. Yes, we, the family are the Domestic Church, we are the primary teachers of the faith, and it is from us that our children learn the faith. We are the Domestic Church. Jesus’ words to us today are for families to become what we are. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. “I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own!”

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