Sacred Duties to one’s parents’ part 1
Aaron Joseph Hackett | Old Testament teaching | 12/29/2019
Peace and good tidings be upon you, my Brothers and Sisters who follow and believe in the Living giving Word of God! May his Eternal Wisdom open your hearts and clear your mind to understanding the following teachings. Let us look to the Fourth Commandment that was written by the finger of God himself to the prophet Moses on Mount Sinai. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you” This commandment is very important. It shows us that God himself has set a natural order to man. Man, being created in the image and likeness of God, has placed in every human being, this “unwritten rule” that we all know to be true. This “rule” guides man on how best to carry out the order of life, by using his natural reason around him and how best implement to all the generations that follow him.
From this Holy Commandment, Sirach, an Elder of the Law of God wanted to show us how we best can apply this in our daily lives. Let us break down his writing and I pray that God opens your souls to see what he wants you to learn today.
“Listen to me your father, O children; and act accordingly, that you may be kept in safety. For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays, he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother; he will serve his parents as his masters.”
Sirach is first getting the attention of the people, particularly the children in the society. He is explaining to them, that when a child acts in accordance with the Law of God, they are kept “safe” from the pitfalls of this world. The “pitfalls” being the temptation of the World, the Flesh and the Devil, the misguided ways of man, because of the dark human nature that everyone naturally has to fight within themselves, because of the “original sins” of our first parents, the rebellion of our own bodies against the our own souls in the moral, spiritual realm. Almighty God has ordered that a Father is head of the household. He is responsible and accountable for every action that his family takes. He shares in the holy responsibility with his wife. They are both over their children on the up-bringing and the behavior that are displayed daily. “Whoever Honors his Father atones for sins”. This part is talking about the venial sins that we commit daily. When we do right towards our parents, God who sees everything will hold that into account and whatever small offenses you commit, are “wiped clean”. Not because of any merit that we may or may not have earned, but because God wishes his creation to have a sense of love and unity with each other. The treasure that is being stored up, are the “coins” that are measured on the scale at your judgement day. Because we live and die by our choices, my brothers and sisters, every action we take or fail to take is held into account. You may not think of it being an important part now, but in the end, anything and everything will be used for our salvation or for our damnation. When we have our own children, they will see the example that you have shown them with your parents, that they will want to do everything within their ability to make you happy with them. Since we feed off positive reinforcement, so our children wish the same for us. When we pray to Almighty God, he knows what is written in the hearts of man, and by knowing man, God already knows what we have done or failed to do, will grant whatever favor he, not us deemed necessary for this daily life. The Lord listens to those who fear him and follows his ways. The sinner he ignores and is cast out of his sights. Long life is a gift of God. He determines who lives longer and whose life is cut shorter, based on how one has lived according to the state of the soul. One can naturally be healthy, eat a good diet and exercise, but can still succumb to illness and death. We cannot control when we will die, but we have the choice, the ability to choose how we dictate our lives daily. When we follow the laws of God, it brings a relief to our mothers. They naturally want the best for their children. They desire that their sons and daughters are happy, and that life is fulfillment for them.
CCC 2197 (press, 2016) states that “The fourth commandment opens the second table of the Decalogue. It shows us the order of charity. God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the knowledge of God. We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority.” Charity is important, because it helps to teach man not to be selfish. It is written in our conscience that everything was created by God and in his creation, it was good. God is number one and should be number one in our lives. The secondary part is our parents. We, as children are the backbone to society. We will bring the new laws into place; we will help build much bigger communities and help in our social development. Our parents teach us about the laws of man and the laws of God. They are responsible for showing us how best to live life. They will be held to the highest account on whether we were raised correctly or incorrectly. If it wasn’t for our parents to choose to come together, biologically, we wouldn’t come into existence. We owe our parents our respect, even if they failed us as children. Because everyone has a human will, we again have the original stain of sin because of our fallen human nature, we make mistakes and sometimes, if not most, fall short of our children’s expectations of us.
CCC 1897 “Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all.” Families are the basis for human societies, and without us guiding our children, it would lead to chaos! This goes for world leaders, politicians and those who govern over us. God created man to live in harmony with one another and to help one another. We are structured to feed off each other (intellectual and sometimes literally) in order to create a delicate balance in our world. Now that doesn’t mean that we will all live in a euphoric world, but it does mean that we can learn to cope and grow and live in harmony and peace with one another.
CCC 2208 “The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Allow me to share in my own personal testimony now. My real father was murdered when I was one years old. My mother was pregnant with my sister during this time when it happened. Of course, my reasoning ability couldn’t fathom this, because I haven’t reached the age of understanding yet. This violence does affect the children and family in a physiological way (a topic down the road, that I will explore more with you). Growing up without a father was difficult. My mother remarried when I was around fourteen years old and my Stepfather adopted me, and I took on his family name. My mental development began to change and I readjusted myself to conform to this new way of life. Fast forward twenty years in the future. My Adopted father got very sick and needed someone to take care of him. My Sister and Mother did the very best they could to make his final days comfortable. I was able to see my father during his final week of life. I was able to pray over him and tell him that I loved him for everything he did for me. I even asked for his forgiveness in the times that I was “short-coming” as a son. We must all remember that we cannot control the lives of our parents. We can’t stop their bad choices. Examples would be of being abusive, sexual abused, abandonment, etc. No one on earth has the perfect parents. But what we can do is pray to God that he heals the brokenness. He mends the shattered life piece that all human beings have experienced, but most importantly, we learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of our parents, elders, to be a much better person in society. When we truly love someone, “We will the good of the other” as St. Thomas Aquinas says. We wish nothing but the best for a person. We are working towards an “ordered” love that is natural and loving. This requires years of prayer and discernment, but when God shows a soul, how to truly love, it is a remarkable thing that only you wish, it was replicated.
Let us close with this prayer. Almighty and ever living God, we thank you for the Holy word that your revealed to Moses, your Prophet and this teaching from Sirach the elder. May you continue to Guide us with the love of the Holy Spirit. May we also Follow the example of Jesus your Son, who lived and died for the salvation of all mankind. May you Living God show us true love and true joy towards our parents. For this I ask you heavenly God, Amen.
Be Blessed my Brothers and Sisters,
Aaron J Hackett