THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary
Today we honor grandparents, as we look to Joachim and Anne,
grandparents of Jesus. Mary gave birth to Jesus when she was
about 14 years old, and we can presume her parents were still
is an important reality: the Biblical blessing upon family
is for three generationsyourself, your children, and
your children’s children. It is important to understand
this blessing, as we struggle to defend family, which is under
intense assault by the anti-family, anti-life, homosexualist
reproductive health forces, according to the intent of the
evil one to destroy what is God’s creation.
The Biblical blessing is for three generations. “May
the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see Jerusalem’s
prosperity all the days of your life, and live to see your
children’s children.” (Ps 128:5-6a). When we met
our spouse and then got married, we thought that was the highest
point in our lives. Then we had our first child, and we thought
that was the highest point in our lives. But there is more.
That is the coming of our first grandchild. All those who
choose the vocation of marriage should look to the coming
of their grandchild(ren), and it is only then that life in
the Lord and the blessing on family come in its fullness.
stability of a nation (and of the Church) is assured when
those who live for God are able to pass on the faith to their
children, and then help ensure that their children pass on
the faith to their own children. “They shall live on
the land I gave to Jacob my servant, the land where their
ancestors lived; they shall live on it always, they, their
children, and their children’s children” (Ez 37:25).
With such generational overlaps, the passing on of the faith
can be assured, through all generations until the end of time.
three-generational blessing stems from our having a covenant
with God, as His people. “This is my covenant with them,
which I myself have made, says the Lord: My spirit which is
upon you and my words that I have put in your mouth shall
not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouths of your children
nor the mouths of your children’s children from this
time forth and forever, says the Lord.” (Is 59:21).
Being in and living our covenant with God, we receive God’s
Spirit, and we pass on the faith, through words of instruction
as well as the silent witness of our lives.
the three-generational blessing is not automatic, that is,
we have our part to play. “However, be on your guard
and be very careful not to forget the things your own eyes
have seen, nor let them slip from your heart as long as you
live, but make them known to your children and to your children’s
children.” (Dt 4:9). We are blessed by God, but at times
we forget, and we veer away from the fullness of faith. That
can be tragic, as the blessing turns into a three-generational
curse. “Therefore I will again accuse youoracle
of the Lordeven your children’s children I will
accuse.” (Jer 2:9). This does not mean that God punishes
our grandchildren who are innocent of our own transgressions,
but that they ultimately become victims of our transgressions.
When we fail to pass on the faith due to our own infidelities,
then our children and our grandchildren will live apart from
the faith, and thus suffer the consequences.
we strive to live out our covenant with God, and then, even
in our failings, we are able to trust in His mercy. “But
the Lord’s mercy is from age to age, toward those who
fear him. His salvation is for the children’s children
of those who keep his covenant, and remember to carry out
his precepts.” (Ps 103:17). We work at our salvation
with fear and trembling, we carry out the precepts of God
for our lives, but not just for ourselves, but for the children
whom we love, as well as our grandchildren. We should also
intercede fervently for our grandchildren, who often are not
physically with us all the time.
So it is not enough that we pass on the faith to our own children.
Grandparents must help their children pass on the faith to
their (the grandparents) grandchildren, without usurping the
primary role of the parents. In fact, it oftentimes happens,
unfortunately, that we try our best to bring our children
to the faith, only to see them falter, and our children then
fail to bring their own children to the faith. Grandparents
must know that their responsibility has not ceased, but they
need to look to their grandchildren as well. Grandparents
have greater experience and maturity in the faith, which they
then must impart not just to their children but to their grandchildren
in today’s busy world, oftentimes with parents both
working, or parents being outside the home working in another
country, there is a distinct role, and opportunity, for grandparents
to help their grandchildren come to vibrant faith in Jesus.
In fact, when children balk at the directives of their parents
with regard to faith, it can often be the grandparents who
can reinforce what parents instruct.
So grandparents, do not just enjoy your grandchildren, but
in your great love for them, know that the greatest manifestation
of that love is to help bring them to vibrant faith in Jesus.
the blessing of Almighty God be upon you, your children, and
your children’s children.