Failure to honor father and mother is blasphemy and merits a curse from God.

Ok, Mother Church, what is going on?  Monday we read from the 1st book of Sirach, yesterday the second book of Sirach and today the 3rd?  Nope, Mother Church has us skipping over the 3rd book and goes in the the 4th book of Sirach.  Why?  Well, in my “defiance” I’m going to post about the 3rd book of Sirach and mainly the first 16 verses.  Why?  The heading for the first 16 verses of this Chapter is titled Responsibility to Parents.  You might be thinking that I’m going to put the spotlight on my children to help them understand how important it is to take me seriously.  Not a bad thought, but that’s not where I’m going.  I want to use this post this morning the personally and publicly thank my brother in law and my sister – Brett and Janice’, who live out these 16 verses on a daily basis.  Let me me post these verses for you here…

 

Children, listen to me, your father;

act accordingly, that you may be safe.

For the Lord sets a father in honor over his children

and confirms a mother’s authority over her sons.

Those who honor their father atone for sins;

they store up riches who respect their mother.

Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children,

and when they pray they are heard.

Those who respect their father will live a long life;

those who obey the Lord honor their mother.

Those who fear the Lord honor their father,

and serve their parents as masters.

In word and deed honor your father,

that all blessings may come to you.a

A father’s blessing gives a person firm roots,

but a mother’s curse uproots the growing plant.b

10 Do not glory in your father’s disgrace,

for that is no glory to you!

11 A father’s glory is glory also for oneself;

they multiply sin who demean their mother.c

12 My son, be steadfast in honoring your father;

do not grieve him as long as he lives.d

13 Even if his mind fails, be considerate of him;

do not revile him because you are in your prime.

14 Kindness to a father will not be forgotten;

it will serve as a sin offering—it will take lasting root.

15 In time of trouble it will be recalled to your advantage,

like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.

16 Those who neglect their father are like blasphemers;

those who provoke their mother are accursed by their Creator.

And to go a little further, the first footnote shines even more light on what I believe to be the actions of Brett and Janice…

* [3:116] Besides the virtues that must characterize our conduct toward God, special duties are enjoined, such as honor and respect toward parents, with corresponding blessings (vv. 19). By showing such respect especially to old and infirm parents (vv. 1013), the sins of children are pardoned (vv. 1415). Failure to honor father and mother is blasphemy and merits a curse from God (v. 16). Cf. Ex 20:12Eph 6:23.

I could spend a lot of time speaking of the sacrifices these two have made for my parents but to keep this short and sweet, they literally gave up their home and started over in order for my parents to have a comfortable place to live without the financial burdens that were weighing them down.  They have looked after them during good times and bad, in sickness and in health – all with little fan fare and all with little thanks.  (It was in their house that my Dad passed and that was probably the most beautiful way for one to pass onto the next life – with All of his children and most of his grandchildren at his bedside.) My brothers and I chip in to assist when they ask for help, but they don’t ask for help very often.  They have truly made it their life work to honor my mother and father.  For that I am truly grateful and for that I want to thank them this morning.  But I think better than my thanking them through this post is the reward awaiting them from God for the sacrifices they are making now…

Kindness to a father will not be forgotten;

it will serve as a sin offering—it will take lasting root.

Janice’, Brett – I think I speak for all of us (John, Jeff, Jim, Joe, Jay, Jackie, John K and Bob) when I say thank you for the sacrifices you have made and continue to make for Mom (and Dad when he was still here).  I pray for you daily because I know this is not the easiest task to do but you both bear that cross without complaint.  It gives me great comfort to know you are both willing to be there for Mom.  I – we – love you for this.

Do something great for our Lord today – give your Mom and Dad a big hug and honor them the way the Lord tells us to.

Please keep the Russo family in your prayers.  Visitation is tonight and the funeral Mass for their father, Rocco, will be tomorrow morning.  May his soul rest in peace.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

O Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, offer to the Father the Precious Blood of thy Divine Son for the intention that one mortal sin may be prevented this day (or this night).  Amen

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