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Advent, Gospel, Motherhood, Parenting

When Your Hopes and Dreams for Your Child Don’t Turn Out the Way You Planned

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Luke 1:57-66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.


Parents have great hopes and dreams more often than not when they bring a child into the world. What will he or she become? We pray for health and for happiness, surely. But many pray that the gifts God bestows on them will be used well and appreciated by the child, that the gifts will be used to glorify God. Whatever the hopes and prayers, things don’t always turn out the way we expect.

At some point, when expectations are dashed, parents need to pray new prayers for their children, especially our young-adult children,: “Lord, give them the grace they need to overcome the struggles. Give them peace. Heal them. Comfort them. Be with them. Keep them safe from harm. Shield them from pain, from evil. Help them to know You’re with them always, that we’re here for them. Let them know we love them unconditionally just like You do, Lord. We may not love them as much as You do, but we love them as much as is humanly possible.”

Even Elizabeth and Zechariah were probably initially disappointed or confused, certainly, by John the Baptist’s life choices. He was living in the desert, wearing nothing but camel’s hair clothing and a leather belt, and eating honey and wild locusts. He spoke truth to power. He spoke of the Truth that is Jesus, the Lamb of God. Not so long after, Jesus would mourn his death.

What we envision for the future of our children or ourselves is rarely what occurs. God’s has a plan, and it is for our salvation. We have to trust Him and what he wants for us and our children which is, ultimately, eternal life with him. Life here isn’t always what we planned.

Lynda MacFarland

Meditation

Let’s ask God, recalling the mercy he shows us through the passion, death, and resurrection of his Son, to help our unbelief.


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Advent, Family Life, Gospel, Motherhood, Women's Ministry

Living our Faith with Courage. Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Tuesday 15 December

Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”


When my daughter was just starting to talk, I remember wanting to make sure we always said grace before meals. Growing up, my family knew how to say grace, but we didn’t do it regularly, and especially not in public. As I’m teaching my daughter to say grace, sometimes I’m tempted to skip public prayer if we’re dining at a restaurant. But let me tell you, my four year old never skips grace!

Saying that we’ll live our faith is easy.  Actually living our faith takes courage.  

In today’s world it can be so easy to post about doing the right things. We can tell people we pray before meals or post about attending Mass online when really we slept in. But we were made for more than easy. We were made to do the work not just talk about doing the work.

We were made to do hard things and sometimes praying in front of friends or family who are not Catholic is hard. Sometimes getting up to go to Mass, even Mass on TV, is hard, but doing that work is so important because it gives us encounters with the Lord. 

What’s more, we are called to be an example to others and a witness to Christ. People have their eyes on us. From our kids, to our friends, to our social media following, what we say we are going to do is far less important than what we actually do. God calls us not just to say what we mean but to do what we say we will do. He calls us to be an example of his love and while that may be easier said than done, I encourage you never to stop trying.

Rebecca Lockhart

Meditation

What does it mean to you to be courageous in your faith?