Wednesday, October 8, 2014
27th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Gal 2:1-2,7-14
Gospel: Luke 11:1-4
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” And Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this:
Father, hallowed be your name,
may your kingdom come,
give us each day the kind of bread we need,
and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive all who do us wrong,
and do not bring us to the test.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Must families be kept lean to ensure their wellbeing? In many respects, the answer is yes. Families with fewer children enjoy bigger breathing space compared to large families. However, at the end of the day one realizes that it really boils down to the principle of “enjoy now and bear the consequences later”. Many couples who have reduced their number of children to one or two face the prospect of retiring to an empty nest because either their one and only son or daughter had died too early, or had claimed total independence and settled in another country.
Raising a large family can be a real burden today. But sacrifices do bear fruits. Like farmers who sweat it out at planting time but rejoice at harvest season, parents of large families will be amply rewarded at old age. The children too will be amply rewarded because the hard work they experience in their youth will make them stronger in facing greater challenges in life.
This is not to promote runaway family population beyond the means of parents to raise quality children. The Church is one with the government in campaigning for responsible parenthood. They part ways only in the means of population control because the Church promotes the natural means compatible with natural law and the will of God. Thus, if a couple can only raise two children, the Church will be first to advice them to raise only two using the natural method of family planning.
Admittedly this method entails a lot of sacrifice. But the sacrifice involved may even deepen the couples’ love for each other. It is this kind of love that brings God’s presence into the family. Sacrificial love operates as an invitation to God to come and reign in the family. Today’s Gospel reading assures us that God will be more than happy to come in because he is interested in human affairs. In asking us to pray for our daily bread, Jesus is telling us that God would like to get involved in our day to day concerns. Moreover, he is prodding us to ask not for our monthly or yearly supply of bread but the daily bread so that we may exercise total dependence upon God all the days of our life.
From all appearances a large family is hard to rear. But appearances are deceptive. When God gives success to the work of human hands a loaf of bread can feed thousands. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, deepen our faith in your divine providence so that even as we work hard for our daily bread we may live in total dependence on you. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Reparata, Virgin and Martyr. She lived in the third century at Caesarea in Palestine. At the height of the religious persecution under Emperor Decius, Reparata was discovered to be a Christian and she was arrested in Caesarea. She was tortured but she remained staunch in her faith.