During this time we suspend our Faith Formation Sessions for children and ask the parents to come instead. They have a choice of some 15 different topics to choose from, Monday through Friday. This event finished Friday and today we are listening to the story of the finding of Jesus in the Temple. For those of us who have been going to Sunday Mass for decades, it is almost predictable what the homily will be about. It will focus on Jesus, of course, and make some remarks about the relationship between Him and His mother and His Heavenly Father at that moment.
I want to bring you to a different perspective. I am asking you to think of the life that Jesus had at home with regards to His religious upbringing. Jesus must have been blessed with the kind of parents who taught Him about God and the Law as is required of all parents per Deuteronomy 6; 4 - 9. His parents taught Him well enough to cause Him to be able to ask the right questions. At 12 years old He was able to chat with the doctors of the religion and have enough religious background to ask the right questions. We as parents have the exact same obligations that Mary and Joseph had. Do we teach our children well enough to allow them to ask the right questions in religion class? Oh, wait a second, let me ask, "Are we curious enough ourselves to participate in learning events that will allow us to learn and to be able to ask the right questions at the right time?" I have to tell you that I can honestly say that a large number, nay, a very large number of parents do not prepare their children well enough to ask the right questions when the moment arises. That same very large number of adults neglect to feed and enrich their own religious faith enough to ask the right questions. These same adults are the ones who often complain about the Church not providing the opportunity to learn about the faith and then do not appear when an opportunity that is advertised months in advance arises.
Don't shake your head in disgust or anger at my words. I know whereof I speak. I have been experiencing this for years, directly as I am the one organizing the events. So, today, if you read this before participating at the Holy Eucharist, think of the story from the point of view of Mary and Joseph's responsibility to instruct their child per the command of Yaweh and the point of view of our responsibility to do the same. If you are married, and if you have children who are baptized, you have heard this told to you at least twice. Once at the final blessing of your marriage ceremony and once at the moment of baptism of your child(ren).
Don't only think of it, bring it into your conversation to those whom you think could profit by hearing it.
It's been a long time since I have written here. But I haven't gone away. I have to come back now and then to remind you why you will not cry at my funeral.