All over the country we see young people graduate from grade schools, high schools and colleges - many families rightly celebrate these milestones and the young people beam with great hopes and dreams as they seek to discern what’s next.
At times ‘growing up’ and ‘transition’ can be difficult - since it involves changes, and heaven knows that most of us panic at the mention of ‘change’. I often remind our young people that changes are good as they are a part of daily living, and if you are not changing, you are dying.
At times the changes we experience in our culture today seek to erode the very foundation of our existence – a major threat to our youth, children and families – the total absence of God caused by our ongoing neglect of God. This problem often leads to loneliness in many of our young people and disintegration of families.
Our young people will benefit greatly from parents who are faith filled and are ambassadors of the faith. It is a fallacy to believe that the faith has no bearing in our lives or that our young people will decide which way to go when they grow up. The truth is that when parents don’t go to church, their children will not, and when fathers don’t go to church, the likelihood of their children going when they grow older diminishes greatly. For many say, “we are too busy” – only to find out that the following events occupy our Sunday routines – sports, hunting, video games and many more.
As our young people grow up amidst many changes in life, one thing is for sure, that when they have a very strong faith background – things are easier and they are able to navigate this life better. In order for this to happen, we need to teach our young people the way of Jesus by first learning about the faith and modeling it by the way we live and by what we say. Strive to be a great witness of God’s love and goodness.
Make Mass and daily prayer a top priority in your family – it is a powerful witness for your children to see their mother and father pray at home as well as attend Mass regularly on weekends.
You do have a role to play in making a saint of your children in this life. What a blessing and a privilege to be able to raise a saint. May the Lord reward you kindly for helping your children go through the changes of this life with a steadfast faith in God. Begin today by modeling the behavior you want to see in your children – they have been entrusted to you by God, do everything you can to return them back to God as SAINTS.
In all things, be at peace and remain blessed!
Fr. Patrick Ike