It is the law of nature, that creation does not live for itself, but for the Environment / Community
Do you sometimes hear older youth complaining about their parents? Statements like: “I wish Dad had been home more…” or “mum should have stood up to dad more…”, etc.
I’m sure every parent, as they look back, would agree they could have done better, but most will also say: I did the best I could with the upbringing I had and what society said was normal.
I mention this because, today, it’s good to reflect on our first Pope: Peter the Rock. A man of courage, but a man who failed. Yet we praise him, because he kept trying and trusted Jesus.
I learnt something this week as I studied the text and did some research (perhaps I should have known already? but I did the best I could with the brains God has given me): The Gospel of Mark is based on what Peter told Mark, the Evangelist. You can confirm!
Now, when we read what Peter did/ didn’t do, it’s all the more powerful because we know it’s from the lips of Peter. A humble and courageous thing to do: to publically confess his betrayal.
Perhaps we need more of the same in our family lives: an honest admission “I could have done better…” or “I wish I had known more about family life…”.
At the same time, one would hope that our children will be intelligent enough to admit that our parents can’t know everything, because there are things happening, and cultural changes, they’ve had no prior experience of. eg. parents navigating the digital world with their children: it’s a nightmare because the children know more than us; and it’s dangerous!
Then, if parents separate, how can one parent be both? A woman only knows how to train a girl; boys are a world apart. Likewise a man only knows how to raise a boy; girls are different!
The common conclusion about Peter, after the Passion Narratives, is that he failed! He lacked courage, etc. However, read it again: Peter was the only Apostle that followed Jesus into the ‘lion’s den’. Peter hung around after being recognised by the first person: I think I would have run a mile – get out while you can! So, in truth, Peter was a courageous man, but not perfect.
Most of our parents are likewise courageous: how many of them worked hard, and long and never stopped working while children were in the house: 20 – 30 years?
In prayer, people kneel before God so they can stand up before others with courage and perseverance. The Christian life keeps calling us back to prayer so we can be encouraged.
Take heart, God is not happy for us to suffer. And the only solution to our suffering is to reach out to others: this is a prayer in itself.
25-Mar-2017, Pope Francis said:
“Rivers do not drink their own water;
trees do not eat their own fruit;
the sun does not shine on itself and
flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves.
Living for others is a rule of nature.
We are all born to help each other.
No matter how difficult it is… Life is good when you are happy;
but much better when others are happy because of you.”
Prayer always reminds us, and others, that we are not alone! Let the journey of Holy Week inspire us to persevere and keep on trying in our duties for others and our personal moral code.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI