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.
What does prayerfully taking the “long view” look like for your family? How can we work at nurturing faith in our children?
Father, please help me to patiently keep the big picture in mind as I guide my family in their faith.
Copyright 2014 Abbey Dupuy