Mark Twain once said, “When I was 18 I thought my father was an old fool. When I turned 21 I was surprised at how much he had learned in 3 years.” The book of Sirach (today’s optional first reading) teaches a truth that Mark Twain apparently eventually learned. To respect and honor one’s parents is not only a commandment from God; it is also just and good. The admonition to “care for your father when he is old” takes on an even greater urgency in our own culture where more people are living longer. A number of cultural changes make fulfilling this commandment seemingly more difficult. Among these are: fewer children (to take care of aging parents), more mobility (children live hundreds or thousands of miles from parents), and a cultural attitude which more and more considers “unproductive” persons as a burden on society. To address these issues the Church must integrate the truth of God’s Word with wise planning. It is encouraging to see efforts made to make homes for the aged much more like homes. I have heard and read of such homes being built near elementary schools so that both the young and the old benefit from each other’s presence. This seems like a good idea. Still, the best choice ought to be for the family itself to take care of aging parents. Though not always possible – especially when medical care is needed – the care of aging parents within the home can be a true blessing to the whole family. God promises a blessing upon those who honor their parents.
As we draw near the end of the calendar year, please remember that if you wish to claim a financial gift to our parish on your taxes for 2021, we must receive it at the parish by December 31, 2021. By law, donations received after December 31 must be recorded for 2022.
On behalf of Dcn. Jerry Ruesch and all the staff, I want to thank you for the many cards and gifts we received at Christmas. Be assured of our prayers for a continued Blessed Christmas Season and a Holy New Year!
May God bless you!