Thursday, April 25, 2013

Suffer the Children

It's the Feast of St. Mark today!
St. Mark receives inspiration from his attribute, a lion. Like Garfield and Jon.
 Mark 10:29-31:
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

And it's also Parental Alienation Day.
Parental alienation, sometimes called Hostile Aggressive Parenting, is a behavior by a parent, or an adult a child trusts, such as a grandmother/father, aunt, uncle, etc., whether conscious or unconscious, that could create alienation in the relationship between a child and a parent.

But it's not the same kind of thing.

Actually, with the seemingly cold admonition to the disciples, Jesus in Mark's gospel had just embraced children and told them that welcoming a child was a pathway to heaven. Even better, he said that being unloving to a child was a sure impasse to eternal life.

Although during the teens and early adult period of our lives there has to be a separation between parent and child, emotionally and physically, a parent has the responsibility to always be an example and support to the child.

Sadly, parental alienation exists. It can take the more hostile form of absentee parenting where children are left to the care of others, or to having little care at all to the more subtle lack of presence by a parent in a child's life.

The Church supports counter-culturally the family. We are still bold enough to assert that a father and a mother are required to raise a child. We aggressively believe that children have a right to life and dignity. It's inherent in our genes (it's also DNA day!) and in our baptismal promises.

Pray for the family today and pray that the intercession of St. Mark, the evangelist of the Good News, may inspire our families to spread the Gospel from the home to the world.