Reading: The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) 11 so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:33-35)
Observation: Hearing this story from the Gospel reading this morning reminded me of when others would say that one of our sons would be a good Priest some day. I guess I am hearing in this reading this morning, if our children are going to truly follow in the footsteps of Jesus, it will not be an easy road for their parents either. I guess what I am trying to say is that I hope that I can remember that the three different priests who baptized Chad and Kobe and Daijon did say that they would be a sign that would be contradicted just as much as Simeon did at the presentation of our Lord in the Temple, by asking us if we would be raising them as Christians. Thereby, when we agreed to raise them as disciples of Jesus, we agreed to the fact that they would stand up for moral values that stand in contrast to what our society says is ok. They will hopefully swim against the current of selfish gratification that exists in this world and hopefully be true disciples of Jesus Christ, but they will not always be accepted in society if they do that and that will be the sword that will pierce our heart.
Self-Control If I am truly going to be an example to my children of what it takes to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, I am going to need the grace necessary to display the fruit of self-control in my life. If I am interpreting the dream correctly that I had last night, I need to leave the childish things that I found intriguing behind in my life. The worldly possessions and the need to be accepted by the cool crowd is something, at age 38, I need to leave behind me if I am going to be able to display self-control to my boys and respond to my calling correctly.
Prayer: Lord, help me to display the fruit of self-control in a real way today and for the rest of my life. Please allow me to respond more fully to your call and example the right kind of discipleship to my children. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.