Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feast of Pope Saint John I

Good morning. Life, it is the ultimate, yet undeserved gift to us from God. The Church in Gaudium Et Spes notes that whatever is opposed to life, whatever alters, or defiles the integrity of the human person, such mutilation is disordered and violates God’s intent for us. Life is a precious gift from our most loving and generous Creator. Whenever I pause to consider this wonderful gift of life and God’s intentions for us I’m reminded of the quite simple instruction from the old Baltimore Catechism: “God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next." 

We are reminded of this wonderful gift of life in today’s Gospel reading “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.” In fact we are reminded throughout scripture of this remarkable gift of life. It is indeed a precious gift from God. 

Jesus in today’s Gospel takes a moment in this reading from the night before He was to die to prepare His Apostles for what was to come, that He would be leaving them, but that like the birth of a child, all the pain and agony would soon be forgotten once He rose from the dead. This verse brings to mind for me the joys and sorrows that come with parenting, which are certainly more profoundly and intimately experienced by mothers. Yet, whether we are a mother or a father, this business of parenting does not come without its share of sorrows and soul wrenching challenges. 

Throughout our life as parents we reach various points where we seem confident and sure about what we are doing. All is well. We feel certain of what we are doing. The stream of life is running smoothly. Then, and without warning things happen and we are left feeling helpless and inadequate. But as quickly as the storm enters our life, those moments of pain and sorrow are replaced with joy and appreciation for that great gift of life we call our children. Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his Letter To Families notes that these experiences of joy and sorrow never leave us, this bond between parent and child never ceases. He notes, “Even when they grow up and set out on their own path, young people remain intimately linked to their existential roots.” It is in these gifts of life, our children, it is in the joys and sorrows of parenting we come to know the love God has for us and we come to experience a glimpse of what He has in store for each of us--"to be happy with Him forever." Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Pope Saint John I.

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