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God’s plan for family

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Once I solemnized the wedding of a friend. After that we didn’t see each other for some time. When I met the couple, I asked: “How’s your marriage going?”

The husband said: “Father, I’ve discovered that there are three rings in marriage.” “That’s new to me,” I replied. “And what are these?”

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He said: “First, engagement ring’; second, wedding ring; third suffe-ring!”

“There’s a fourth ring, Father” the wife added. “Kung ang asawa ay may ‘tiri-ring’” (If the spouse is a crackpot).

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Although said jokingly, there’s a grain of truth there. Indeed, marriage – after all the flowers, endless photo sessions, colorful reception, the honeymoon – is no bed of roses. However, if there’s SHA-RING (another ring) no doubt, the marital burden becomes lighter between the couple.

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Tomorrow is Holy Family Sunday. Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, had their share of sufferings in rearing their child although they knew deep down that their Son was no ordinary child.

For instance, the baby Jesus was in mortal danger because King Herod regarded Jesus as a threat to his political security (read Matthew 2,19-23).

The Holy Family had to flee to Egypt; hence, Jesus, Mary and Joseph became “displaced persons.”

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By becoming fully human, Christ entered through the family, thus sanctifying it. Likewise, God intended the family so that every child that comes into the world – helpless and fragile – would find warmth, care, love, and security.

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A friend once confided to me, “The first thing I look for in a married man or woman is not how successful he or she is as lawyer, businessman or professional but how successful as a family man or woman. “If they fail in their family life, I consider them a complete failure.”

Though the comment is rather harsh, there’s some truth there. When one gets married, he or she assumes the responsibility of rearing the children they beget. That’s the couple’s vocation or God’s plan for them.

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OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS. Similarly, the vocation of children is to honor, respect, and obey their parents. The very word FAMILY signifies “Father And Mother I Love You.”

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Parents are God’s cooperators and representatives. They are not perfect. Despite this, children should honor, respect and obey their parents since they are God’s representatives.

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Parents are expected , however, to show good example.

If the parents are given to alcoholism, infidelity, quarreling and fighting, what can be expected of the children?

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On the feast of the Holy Family, let’s pray for all parents and children. May they remember their vocation or God’s plan for them and strive to live it everyday.

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PRAYERS FOR NEW YEAR. Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I like, and the eyesight to tell the difference between the two.

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A man prays: “Dear God, all I ask for the New Year is a FAT wallet and a THIN body. And please don’t mix them up – like you did last year!

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A BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ONE & ALL!

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