REFLECTIONS. Extracts from May “Thoughts for the Day”

2019 MAY OVERVIEW.  “Parents do Matter.”     

“Your children will always be your children” is an important saying and yet part of parenting is preparing children for independence.  Becoming a parent involves co-creation with God of a new life that is eternal and can never be undone. It requires permanent commitment to the wellbeing of that child from conception. Commitment should ideally apply to mothers and to fathers although very many children live much of their lives without their fathers present. Many families also include stepchildren or foster children while daily parenting tasks are often performed by grandparents and other carers.

Choose life, so that you and your children may live, loving the Lord, obeying his voice and cleaving to him.  Deut 30:19-20. Pope Francis. I urge all future mothers: keep happy and let nothing rob you of the interior joy of motherhood. AL 171.  A father helps the child to perceive the limits of life, to be open to the challenges of the wider world and to see the need for hard work. AL175

Setting the scene. The PPC with Fr Oliver decided to make parenting and Mary the focus for the month of May. “We might not all be parents, but we all have parents and most of us would like to be parents or are likely to be involved in parenting in some way.  The Thoughts are linked loosely with Scripture readings of the time, mainly from Acts of the Apostles or the Gospel of John.  A Mary litany is spread over the days of the month with one invocation for each day.

May 1st. St Joseph the Worker.   Workers’ Day SA.   Is work a joy, a blessing, a pain or punishment?   Why do we have Workers Day as a public holiday so we don’t have to work?

 Poem,  I hate housework.

“I hate housework,” Mary muttered under her breath.

“Joseph comes in with his dirty feet, all the neighbourhood kids and dogs seem to think this is just anyone’s home and food and drinks are always on offer.

I hate cleaning up and washing interminable pairs of dirty jeans, or the latest fashion clothes that won’t even drip dry. I’d much rather sit quietly and meditate and spend time getting to know God better, and I’d really like to do that course in self-development I saw advertised.”

“I wish my father could have sent me to be educated, ” Joseph sighed.

“I always wanted to be a teacher and spread the word, but there wasn’t money for that and I had to carry on the family business. Mind you, earning your living with your hands isn’t so bad. Feeling the sheen of the wood under your hands and being able to create this furniture that is functional and –  though I say it myself – also beautiful does give me a really good feeling. ”

Sitting back comfortably after dinner and the usual bed-time story, when he leaned over and kissed her on the nose and said, “Honey, that was really nice. I’m so happy. I just feel so much at home here with you and this our family, in our own little nest, ”

They knew that the rewards weren’t only going to be out of this world, and that God was happy too.

Whatever your task, work heartily as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  Col 3:24. Pope Francis:  Labour makes possible the development of society and provides for the sustenance, stability and fruitfulness of one’s family. Poverty and hunger are realities where the lack of employment opportunities takes its toll on the serenity of family life. AL24-25.   Mary, loving wife of Joseph, pray for us.

May 4th.  During their planning the parish family team reflected, “What are the tasks and responsibilities of parents, whether it is a lone parent or couple?  Providing, protecting, loving and caring. Does the community take sufficient care of single or lone parents, of divorced or separated parents and of widowed people?  Are they neglected or being supported? We must remember that many widows are parents coping with their own grief and also having to comfort and support their children who have lost a parent.”

The Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.  So the 12 appointed 7 men of good repute to this duty.   Acts 6:1-7.  Pope Francis:  Whatever the cause single parent families must receive encouragement and support from other families in the Christian community and from the parish’s pastoral outreach.  Often they endure hardships such as economic difficulties, employment prospects, child support problems.   AL 252.   Mary, full of grace, pray for us.   


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