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March 12, 2018 - What About My Own Faith

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Scripture Readings

I have had many conversations with people about their grown children. They often describe their children as successful, well-adjusted adults with families who contribute to the good of society. These parents have also expressed their ongoing concern about their children not practicing their faith. For many parents, this is not only a concern but a source of deep pain. It can also be a source of conflict and tension when, with good intention, parents try and convince their adult children to return to the practice of faith. Today’s Gospel led me to reflect on this issue. What does pressuring our grown children say about our own faith?

 The passage from the Gospel of John relates the story of the royal official who journeyed to Cana to find Jesus. His young son was near death and, having heard of the miracles Jesus had done, he went to Jesus and asked him to heal his child. Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”  What I found striking was the next part of the passage: “The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.” As amazing as the healing of the child was, it is the faith of the official that is just a striking. For all the times we go to Jesus imploring him on behalf of our children, do we find our faith as strong as this official—truly believing in Jesus? The royal official did everything in his power to save his child just as we surely do. But at some point, like the royal official, we must come to the realization that we are limited and have done everything in our power. Then we must take the journey to Jesus in faith. We must place the salvation of our children in the hands of the Savior.

Our kids know we would like them to practice their faith. They know our hearts are in the right place and we want salvation as much for them as we do for ourselves. But pressuring them or dropping hints to them rarely brings them any closer to choosing to return to the Church. We must go to Jesus…really take that journey to Jesus and ask him to heal our children. Then we must believe in him…we must have faith. We may not even know what it is our adult children truly need; we may just know they need Jesus.  What we know or do not know does not matter because it is Jesus we are approaching…it is the Savior we are journeying to. The Savior that we go to is much bigger than we can imagine. He holds our children even if they (or we!) do not realize it…just as he has always held us when we were not aware of it. May our trust in him grow this day. And may this trust be expressed in our acceptance of our children exactly where they are.

--Gail Lyman