Daily Reflection – Aug 13, 2016
Saturday 13 August 2016
First Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13, 30-32
Create a clean heart in me, O God
Psalm 50(51):12-15, 18-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 19:13-15
Today’s Saint: St Pontian, Pope, and St Hippolytus, Priest, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)
Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.
The life of the father is like the life of the son, both are mine. (Ezekiel 18:4)
Proverbial wisdom tells us that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or “like father, like son.” These expressions tell us that we are connected to our parents and all the generations that precede us. We may have inherited our father’s athleticism or our mother’s beautiful smile. But these proverbs also suggest that the mistakes and sins of our parents can get passed on to us, often without our having any say in it.
This second interpretation seems to lie at the heart of the proverb in today’s reading: “Fathers have eaten green grapes; thus their children’s teeth are on edge” (Ezekiel 18:2). In other words, don’t blame the kids—blame their parents! In response, God sends a hope-filled message to Ezekiel: you are more than the sum of your genetics.
God tells Ezekiel that the life of the parent is like the life of the child, but not in the way everybody thinks. They are similar because “both are mine” (Ezekiel 18:4). I, the Lord, am responsible for creating your body, mind, and soul. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, your traits and family quirks included, he says.
Our gifts and talents come from God—and from our parents! But remember that our most important “inheritance” is membership in God’s house and kingdom. This is a family inheritance that we can grow into as we draw closer to God. He looks on us with love and compassion. He smiles at our good traits and offers avenues to heal the bad ones.
We don’t need to get bogged down by the past. We don’t need to feel hopeless about our children’s future. There is freedom in belonging to the house of God. Our future is not something passive or predestined, like hair loss. It is something we shape by our actions, helped by the heavenly Father’s grace.
Next time you or a family member does something virtuous or grace filled, think of the expression “Like father, like son.” You are acting in your identity as a redeemed son or daughter of God. And that is something for which you can praise and thank God.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for adopting me into your house. I belong to you!”