Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Paul to the Corinthians [II; 13, 11-13], today’s second reading
From what I observe as an outsider, parents have an incredibly difficult job. In my experience many – even most – make dramatic sacrifices for their children. I admire that greatly, and I’m sure it’s a pathway to holiness for them.
And I understand – because I work with it a lot – that couples sometimes need to separate because their relationship with one another has become unbearable, whether it be through substance abuse, gambling and financial irresponsibility (a surprisingly frequent issue), physical or psychological abuse, or simple immaturity and the inability to make and keep adult commitments.
So I think what Saint Paul says today (above) is important especially for parents, and I don’t pretend it’s a guarantee that things will always work out in a marriage. I think estranged couples with children most especially need to hear it – not so much as a warning as a promise. There is a way past the hurt, past the anger, past the resentment, past the damage. And that way lies in the five things Paul describes:
I hear too much sadness and pain from too many young people hurt by their parents’ self-absorbed behavior. Maybe the parents don’t know any better. For them, and maybe for all of us, Saint Paul has some good lessons today. Until next week, peace.