Daily Gospel Reflection for January 9, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Luke 4:14-22

When Jesus returned to his hometown, walked into the synagogue, and stood up to read, how proud must his mother have been? Here was her son, the baby-turned-boy-turned-man that she had raised in her faith. She and Joseph must have taught him carefully, modeling as best they could the faith they hoped he would follow as an adult.

While the event described in this scripture takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ adult ministry, it is clearly the result of years of careful formation in the faith under Mary’s careful tutelage.

Did she ever have doubts, I wonder, that she was doing the right things? Did little Jesus get squirmy and loud during services at the synagogue?

As I struggle sometimes to handle my wiggly children during Mass, I wonder if any of it is even sinking in for them. Sometimes attending church as a family feels more like an endurance event than an opportunity to worship. Sometimes praying with them at home feels more like herding cats than communing with God.

It helps to remember the long view, though. There is a bigger picture. As much as I love my children and want to guide them into a relationship with Jesus, He loves them even more. He has a claim on their hearts.

My job is to plant seeds, to nurture them carefully, to model faith in Christ as best I can…and to pray for my children every day, that God (who created us to be in relationship with Him) will bring them close to Him.

It can be hard to trust that our children will still grow in faith when we ourselves can’t do everything perfectly. Letting go of the need to see results now and trusting that God will guide them in paths of righteousness is such a challenge.

I imagine the joy Mary must have felt at seeing Jesus begin his public ministry. All of her prayerful parenting and gentle guidance certainly helped to shape him into the man he became. One day, I look forward to seeing my own children stand up and own their faith for themselves.

Ponder:

What does prayerfully taking the “long view” look like for your family? How can we work at nurturing faith in our children?

Pray:

Father, please help me to patiently keep the big picture in mind as I guide my family in their faith.

Copyright 2014 Abbey Dupuy

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About Author

Abbey Dupuy writes her life as a homeschooling mom of four. She muses about parenting, practicing gratitude and celebrating the liturgical year with her young family at Surviving Our Blessings. In her spare time, Abbey enjoys running, knitting, coffee, and cookbooks, not usually all at the same time.

6 Comments

  1. I love this! My three kiddos are very young, and it’s tempting to forget the “longview” most days. I need to remember, like you said, that He’s the One doing the work, and I’m just helping to plant seeds. If I am faithful, God will do the rest. I had never considered Mary holding a squealing Baby Jesus in Temple before…I’ll remember that image the next time I am at Mass with my crew. Thank you for your beautiful words and insight! Have a great day!

  2. Oh this is such a great reminder. As I read and reflected on this gospel, I kept getting struck by the ending, whereit mentions the gracious words that come from his mouth. And that clicks so well with what you shared, Abbey, because the people I’m so likely to NOT begracious with are those who are most important to me.

  3. Great reflection Abbey – my boys are in college, and we are still, in some ways, involved in the struggle. They are amazing young men, but I don’t think my prayers for them to grow in faith will really ever end. And our dear friend Pat Gohn has taught me much about being a constant prayer warrior FOR my children too. It’s sometimes so easy with our kids to focus on their prayer and learning that we forget to do these things for ourselves. Loved this – have a great day!!

  4. Thank you, I needed this today. Just sent my daughter back to college yesterday and was so frustrated with her. So hard to let go and trust you did the best you could. A great reminder to pray for our children and let God be in control.

  5. Karen, Amen! Our 25 year-old daughter just moved out (and in with her boyfriend) – in fact, I wrote about it in an upcoming post on Catholicmom. I know the faith is in there somewhere, buried deep down. Every now and then when she allows herself to be vulnerable I will see it peering under the covers. For now I just have to remember that Jesus never laid burdens on others but persuaded them through his love to come closer (recalling the women at the well). I must do the same, just like you Karen.

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