Return to Family Values

Today we seem deluged with reports of anger, abuse and even murder at the hand of a family member. Spouses are not attentive to each other; parents neglect children; and children disregard elders. It is time to return to good oldfashioned family values. But just what constitutes good old-fashioned family values? Is it the submission of wives, the domineering rule of parents, the intimidation of children?

 

Advertisement

If we remember that the family is not only the first and perhaps most formative school, but is also the fundamental ecclesial or church community, we might see Paul’s admonition as addressed to all members of all families. All of us are called to bear with one another and forgive one another. Parents are to be gentle with children, and adult children with aging parents. All belong to the household of God and are to be treated according to that dignity.

Together the readings sketch a picture of good old-fashioned family values. The parents of Jesus, themselves faithful to the practices of their religion, presented to God the child who had been first given to them by God. Like all parents, they were amazed at what his future would hold. Then under their watchful eye, he grew and became strong. Our children are one of our greatest treasures. Are they growing stronger under our watchful eye?

Sirach adds another dimension to this family picture. He reminds us that our future is rooted in the rich soil of our past. True wisdom for living is found in our elders, in those who have already lived wisely.

In a truly holy family all members are respected and cherished, nurtured and supported, united through the bond of love.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Whatever we give—time, resources, skills, attention—the offering ought to be like the widow’s: complete, courageous and with total trust in grace.
Michael SimoneOctober 19, 2018
Jesus drew on the biblical meaning of love, commanding unwavering loyalty to God and neighbor.
Michael SimoneOctober 19, 2018
The Evangelists had come to believe that Jesus was indeed the bearer of divine authority.
Michael SimoneOctober 05, 2018
Mark’s community found themselves waiting for deliverance during a time of great distress.
Michael SimoneOctober 05, 2018