CHILDREN OF GOD
When the church is church, it is family. When the family is family, we are responsible for each other.
We are called children of God, and so we are. This is the message we read about today in the first letter of St. John, on the Feast of the Holy Family. Children represent one of the church's greatest opportunities and one of its greatest responsibilities. For one thing, and perhaps more than ever, the church needs to pray for those parenting children. Sometimes parenting children seems to be a pretty thankless job. The famous humorist Ogden Nash once said "parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore."
As a family of faith we all have parental responsibilities. The church had a unique opportunity to assist people at every stage in our human life. The church is there to welcome the newborn into its new world, and to share in the delight of the parents and family. The church can be there at the end of life to bid farewell as someone steps out into God's eternity, and to share the grief and gratitude of loved ones. At times as a faith community we stumble and we fail to be church to others. That is the reality of our humanness.
Where the church's children are concerned, we all have parental responsibilities. We acknowledge this at the baptism of a child, and also try to at other times. When the church is church, it is family. When the family is family, we are responsible for each other. Surely the healthiest is to be open to all people in all walks of life. With God's strength we can work together.
Points to Pray and Ponder: Can we, parents and church family, emulate Jesus' parents? We need to be aware that we a great responsibility and in this can look to the example of Mary and Joseph. In this holy season, reflect on God as a parent.