We have now completed the first half of Lent. As we enter into this Fourth Week of Lent, the second half of the season, leading up to Holy Week, we are invited to reflect on how our Lenten penances and good work have helped us in our family conversion, and built upon our relationships with one another. How are we allowing the grace of God to be at work, as we prepare to renew our baptismal vows at Easter?
Lent is an ideal time to look at marriage and family life. How does our Lenten Season shape what we are called to do in marriage and family life? During the next three weeks of Lent and before Easter Sunday, we should take time to examine our respective marriages and families. As spouses, do we love each other as deeply as we did at the time of marriage?
As Lent is a season of renewal, it is an appropriate time for families to start praying together, if you haven’t already been doing so. Realise that our families are in need of conversion, especially when it comes to our relationship with one another. Families should make it a point to get together for meals and prayer time, perhaps even to talk about their Lenten reflection. Our commitment and our relationship within the family unit should deepen through unconditional love.
Unconditional love transforms us not only as spouses and parents, but more importantly – it transforms us as a person. For those of us who are parents, do we put the needs of our children first? Do we think about our spouse before making a decision that could affect the family? We should strive to put the needs of others ahead of our own, so that we may grow in love.
We should care for each other and pray for the grace to be less selfish in our family life.Is there something you can do in order to make your family life better? Could you help out and share the workload within the family? Could you hold back the sarcastic comments and complaints, which hurt and sadden your spouse and children? How about choosing to say something positive and loving instead? Wouldn’t that make a wonderful and meaningful Lenten experience!
Sometimes, the simple and ordinary changes we make for the sake of our families can draw us closer to each other. The Lord will show us His grace, mercy and love, and that will lead us to patience, forgiveness and reconciliation.
“We all stumble in many ways,” (James 3:2) which is why we need to be patient in our relationships. Without patience, we may face friction and division in our homes. Be patient – constantly loving one another, and cultivate a forgiving attitude in the same way God forgives us. Learn and teach ourselves to be patient, loving and forgiving as it will strengthen our family bond and lead to peace within our homes.
Fr. George Packiasamy