Thursday 26 March 2015

Monday of Week 15 Year 1

Some people say that blood is thicker than water, and that we should make every effort to remain in good relationship or good ties with our parents and siblings. Even the 4th Commandment reminds us to honour our parents and treat them well. In some cultures, filial piety plays an important role in ensuring that our parents are well cared for, since it was they who cared for us and nourished us when we were young.

But let us consider for a moment: Supposing we come to a scenario where our parents or siblings demand that we perform something or carry out an act which would keep the family honour, but goes against God's commandments? For example, in some traditional cultures, a child which is born with a serious defect is seen as an omen, or even a curse to the family, and if we are told by our parents to get rid of it; would we do such a deed to appease our parents?

This is where we face a dilemma. Jesus in today's Gospel warns us: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be those of his own household. Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it."

As Christians, we are reminded to obey and keep God's commandments. But if we obey and keep God's commandments, we would be going against our parents' demands. Likewise, if we obey and submit to our parents' demands, we would be going against God's commandments. Should we be stricken with such a difficult choice, what would we choose? God over our family or our family over God? Ultimately, may we choose wisely and prudently what is right and just, for the betterment of our eternal future.

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