Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Gospel includes what is usually called the Second Sign at Cana.  In Cana, a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum asked Jesus to come with him to heal his son.  Jesus tells him that he may go back himself and that his son will live.  The official meets his slaves on the way back.  They tell him of the cure and when it happened.  The official realizes that his son was cured at the exact moment that Jesus had told him that his son would live.

Every parent takes great care to protect their children physically.  They buy helmets and other safety gear.  They often keep them within sight for their protection.  Some might even drive their cars differently because their children are with them.  If they are sick, parents will search endlessly for a solution.  Some might even travel the country to get them the best medical care possible.

This father that we hear about is no different.  He has undoubtedly heard of Jesus as a healer.  He comes to him desperately seeking a cure for his child. 

This cure, though, is given as a sign.  Not as a promise of an end to suffering.  Rather as a sign that we might believe.  It is a sign of the divinity of Jesus.  Jesus did not cure everyone.  He cured some so that all might believe. 

As parents, physical safety for your children should be a priority.  All parents have a responsibility there.

But all parents also have a responsibility for the spiritual safety of their children.  To ensure that their children are formed in the faith.  It is not something that they have to do alone.  The Church offers assistance.  Religious education, youth groups, and VBS are some examples.  But the primary responsibility belongs to the parents.  It is a responsibility to which they committed at their children’s Baptism. 

The greatest way to fulfill this responsibility is to be a role model for living the faith.  Attending Mass faithfully (outside of our current restrictions).  Praying in a serious way daily.  Placing religious articles throughout the home as reminders of the faith.  Even enthroning a Bible in a prominent place. 

We all know that children do what we do more than they do what we say.  We ourselves see how we often morph into our parents as we mature.  Parents’ behavior forms their children.

In what ways do parents ensure the physical well-being of their children?  In what ways can they ensure their spiritual well-being?  If our children become like us spiritually, will that help them toward becoming saints?