After the Baptism of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys."
One of the biggest challenges our Catholic Church is facing in today's world is the lack of whole family involvement in the life of the Church. On several occasions, I have asked relatives, "why don't you go to church anymore?" And often, it would surprise me that they would respond, "because we got you to go pray for us." But the faith community exists as a community of believers who come together to pray as a unified body in Christ, not as a corporation of people who have others go in their place as a proxy representative.
Too often we rely on Religious Education or Faith Formation programs to "teach" the faith to our children. But, as the old proverb goes, "it takes a village to raise a child." It is not up to our parish programs to pass on the faith to our children; it must happen through our homes and by the example of our lives. Parental and family involvement is not simply important; it is essential and vital in order to sustain the faith of our future generations and bring them up with a strong love for Jesus.
Some of you are not married nor do you have children. But I can almost guarantee that each of you have some kind of contact or interaction with little ones. Ask yourself this question: how are you helping that child know Jesus by your words, actions, and life? And even more, how are you helping that child's parents and family become stronger Christians?
Hopefully EPIC Ministry is helping you strengthen your faith so that you can help preserve and pass on that same faith to the next generation and generations to come.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew 19:14