You have to choose. That’s one of the great Advent themes.
Father Peyton used to say, I came to de-neutralize you. Let me explain, Jesus finds that the children in the marketplace playing their games are like the present generation. John came neither eating nor drinking and they say he is possessed. The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say he is a drunk, a glutton and friend of tax collectors. This generation has to decide one way or the other.
This is like the family who is out of control and overwhelmed by the surrounding culture, the need for both parents to work outside the home, the constant need to get caught up on paying bills, doing laundry, attending Church and school and sports activities, paying attention to extended family and the elderly, caring for the poor in your neighborhood. It becomes way too much for two parents to cope with.
In the end there is no time to relax as a family, not even time to pray as a family. What’s the answer? I think it’s this: you have to decide. We always find time to do what we want to do most. The question is, what’s your top priority, the rallying cry for your family? That which comes before everything else, what you will not give in on.
There are many really good activities, but if everything is equally important then nothing is important. You have to choose.
In my family growing up, the number one priority was Sunday Mass. You did not miss Mass. We lived a good distance from the Church and had to walk there even in the frigid winters of central Maine. I remember clearly my mother reminding me that I was responsible for making her miss Mass because I was born 10AM on a Sunday morning. I also recall a Sunday with a huge snowstorm and no possibility of getting to Church. What were we to do? We all gathered to pray the Rosary during the very hour of Mass.
I recall older siblings claiming to be sick on Sunday morning and then miraculously rising from their sick beds after the last Mass and planning to go out with friends in the evening. No way! If you are too sick to go to Mass in the morning, you are too sick to go out with friends in the evening.
My family was far from perfect but we all knew what our top priority was as a family and it has been a blessing throughout our lives. What is your family’s top priority?
Each weekday, the homily from Daily Mass at Holy Cross Family Ministries is shared online. Visit Family Rosary: World at Prayer and sign up to receive notifications of each day’s homily.
Copyright 2017 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.