Twenty-third Sunday Ordinary Time
September 5, 2021 •
Teaching is the primary obligation of every priest. Everything else, even the sacraments, is secondary. If you don't understand what you are receiving, then you won't be receiving what the Lord wants to give you.
Every parent has this same obligation in their own home towards their children. On the day of your wedding, before you were allowed to make your vows, you answered the question: Are you prepared to accept children lovingly from God and bring them up (educate them) according to the Laws of Christ and His Church ? If you don't answer "yes", I don't let you get married. That's how serious it is.
You promised God you would do this. That's why it's actually your primary responsibility as a parent to hand on to them the faith you yourself have received.
If I don't have a reasonable hope that you're going to raise that child in the faith, I cannot baptise. I'm not allowed. And yet baptism is the most important of sacraments because it's the first, and the one through which you're. made a child of God and enabled to approach the rest of the Sacraments and life of the Church.
So when I enforce these laws - and I must - I have to make a judgement call for each person that approaches when they want one of their children to receive any Sacrament. Is there a reasonable hope that they are being raised actively in the faith? Actively, faithfully, to the best of their ability, living their faith.
What does that look like practically speaking?
Mass every Sunday and Holy day of Obligation
Confession regularly, which the Saints typically recommend once a month unless you have mortal sin, then more frequently.
Praying daily as family. Daily.
That's the bare minimum right there. That's a good start. You do that and you'll be doing most of the things you need to do to raise your children actively in the faith.
When you stand before the judgement seat of God, you'll say: Lord I'm sure I didn't do a perfect job, but I did my best.
In comparison to the faith, anything else they could ever learn in their life is meaningless. Absolutely meaningless. In comparison to the faith that you are obliged to teach them.
The only thing the Lord cares about on the day of our judgement is how well we followed Him and His commandments.
Each day, the greatest gift you can impart to your children is the faith.
Is 35:4-7a; Ps 146:7-10; Jas 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37
Homily begins at 19:06