Perhaps one of the worst sinful habits that we can fall into is that of apathy, or complacency—which, even when we are right next to each other, causes a great chasm. This week’s first reading and Gospel offer some stories of complacency, while Paul’s letter offers a vision of what we are called to be.
Over the years, Star Trek has served as an entertaining way to challenge my assumptions, beliefs, and conscience on many moral topics—from the development of technology, to politics, to intercultural relations, to policies on war and peace, to racism—the list is as long as the number of episodes that span the different branches of the television and movie franchise. So, it’s not surprising that the last couple of movies they turned out, Into Darkness and Beyond also tackled issues that had me leaving the theatre with so many more thoughts then when I entered.
God, who is perfect and loves us unconditionally, offers us mercy all the time—and expects us to do the same for others.
I’m not going to pretend that taking children to Mass is not filled with peril and adventure…and terror and mortification…and nightmares and sometimes nosebleeds…It’s all of that and much, much more. I’m the lucky mother to two wonderful teenaged sons who listen, sing and participate at Mass—currently without any coercion. But, getting there wasn’t always easy. Some of the most frustrating and embarrassing moments of my parenting career thus far have been Mass-related. My kids have screamed, cried, yelled out loud that the priest was “doing it wrong”, made loud comments about people sitting near us, thrown up the whole length of the center aisle—pretty much any embarrassing thing a kid can do. Not being able to really attend to Mass myself because of the parenting that needed doing was like being in a dessert without water. I believe that many Catholic parents can relate.
If there’s one thing that my Catholic Elementary School education taught me, it was to look outside myself in all situations, but particularly when there’s suffering involved. Having gone to a small school, teachers sometimes got recycled into different grades, causing me to have one teacher both in 5th and 7th grade. This teacher had a very specific way of incorporating prayer into our class time. After recess, we would pray a decade of the Rosary and do some intercessory prayer. And every day, there were stock things that we’d pray for and then we could add our own. My teacher had us pray for our “family, friends, people in Purgatory and Ethiopia” every day.
Be prepared! For the Christian, being prepared means being willing to trust that God will get us through every difficulty and challenge.
Follow the link for a quick reflection on this week’s readings complete with discussion questions for the whole family.