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Saturday, August 17, 1996

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Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13, 30-32
Psalm 51
Matthew 19:13-15

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the functional family

"What is the meaning of this proverb that you recite in the land of Israel: 'Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children's teeth are on edge'? As I live, says the Lord God: I swear that there shall no longer be anyone among you who will repeat this proverb in Israel." —Ezekiel 18:2-3

It has become fashionable to blame our parents for our problems. Some people try to excuse their actions and even their sins by saying that their fathers were alcoholic and abusive. Others appeal to the fact that their mothers didn't want them. Some talk about not being told as children that they were loved. Others blame their problems on the genes passed on to them by their parents.

There is some truth in these excuses. Our parents do have a greater influence on us than any other people in the world. However, our parents should not have a greater influence on us than God does. The harm in the most dysfunctional family should be eclipsed by the perfect functioning of the family that is the Holy Trinity. Even the worst things that your father or mother did to you are secondary to what your heavenly Father did for you when He gave His Son to die and rise to save us. Sin and evil have significantly increased, but "grace has far surpassed" them (Rm 5:20). We have no excuses. We are in God's functional family.

Prayer:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, may Your living in me take precedence over everything that has happened to me.

Promise:  "Let the children come to Me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these." —Mt 19:14

Praise:  Ron moved to Haiti and adopted five homeless Haitian boys. Eleven years later, Ron and the boys, now young men, have adopted fourteen handicapped children.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Healing Adult Children From Dysfunctional Families.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996


Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996