As one trained in preaching, the words of St. Paul’s words sting: “If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! Woe to me if I do not preach it!"
For me, preaching the word of God is a sacred privilege, an honor. But Paul rebukes me; it’s an obligation. And woe to me, if I do not fulfill this duty, this obligation.
But greater than my obligation to write preaching texts for others is my sacred duty to serve as a preacher to my own children, in my home. More than any priest or Church preacher, as parents, we are responsible for the souls of our own children. Woe to us if we fail.
At Vatican II, the Church empowered parents: “In [the domestic church, the home] parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state” (Lumen gentium, 11).
If we fail in preaching, through our words and actions, woe to us. For our children may never know Christ, Who loves them infinitely more than we can. They may never experience His forgiveness, His healing, His grace. They may never view life from a higher plain, to see the infinite horizon, to live for something—someone—much greater than self. If they do not know Christ, they will miss the meaning of life: through Him, light overcomes darkness, love overcomes hate, and life overcomes death. Therefore, we call the Gospel, Good News!
Woe to us, if we do not preach the Good News to our children.
Parents have an obligation, but we have something even greater. We have the Spirit. And, we have enough faith, hope, and love to fulfill this sacred duty to preach the Gospel to our own beloved children. Now, that’s good news!
How will you preach the Gospel to your children?
Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash
Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To read more about God's grace in everyday life or to connect with Mary: www.marypedersen.com.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.