Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Role of Parents - Ss Joachim and Anne

Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of Ss Joachim and Anne, parents of the blessed Virgin Mary. And something struck me in the course of my day which was linked to the first reading.

The first reading was taken from Sirach 44:1,10-15. What struck me was this

"Here is a list of generous men whoes good works have not been forgotten. In their descendents there remains a rich inheritance born of them. Their descendants stand by the covenants and, thanks to them, so do their children's children."
Sir 44:10-12
Father in his sermon preached about how parents hand down their faith to their children. And rightly so, as it is stated in the reading. It is a rich inheritance that they receive from their parents. And "thanks to them" they pass it on. Just like Ss Joachim and Anne, raised Mary up to be a holy girl, such that she was in the right disposition to respond to God's calling to be the Mother of God.

Now the sad thing is, todays parents may not be passing the faith on. Because of the fact that they themselves may not have it in the first place. Why I say this? Today in the tuition centre, my mum told me about this student. (She likes to inform me of the Catholic ones, just like my dad likes to tell others that I know Fr Brian, Luke and Mike, when others say they are from those parishes)

Anyway, she told me that this student said she couldn't come on saturdays because of catechism. That's the good part. So my mum asked when does she go for mass, and the girl replied, she seldom goes, because her parents don't bring her. And I told my mum, yah this happens in almost every parish. Parents drop kids for catechism, parents go for mass, after mass pick up kids from catechism and go home.

How is the child ever going to receive a rich inheritance from their parents? It reminds me of the term Fr Ignatius Huan always uses. Second-hand faith. And as it passes down, it becomes third, fourth, fifth-hand. The value keeps dropping. And that person becomes like what Fr Cantalamessa preached
"the man or woman who had the precious pearl and did not realize its value"
Thankfully by God's wonderful grace, there is hope for some, who search for the truth, or encounter "angels" who guide them back to the treasure. But sadly most will fall away.

So much to be done, but who and how? Sad!!!
May all parents follow the example of Ss Joachim and Anne, and help their children to grow in faith and love for God. Amen.

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