Deut. 4:1,5-9; Psalm 147 Praise the Lord Jerusalem; Matthew 5:17-19
In today's first reading we encounter Moses standing before the people of Israel and giving them a last minute pep talk, getting them ready to enter into the promise land.
Moses will not be joining them in the promise land, he will be handing the reigns over to another. Of course, we know transitions can be tough and trying times. How often do we encounter people seeking to take advantage of times of transition for their own advancement.
Moses aware of the human element at play in every community, he takes these last breaths of his to encourage and warn the people about fidelity and infidelity. He reminds them of all that God has done and all that God will do and all that God ask from his people as they receive the promise God had desires to give them.
Today's reading ends with these words, "Take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children's children."
The future of the nation of Israel is dependent on the future generation and how they are taught and guided. This generation is meant to be formed and shaped by the words and deeds of God as he revealed himself in the desert wanderings.
You would think this is a no brainer. You would think that training and educating the children is par for the course. But apparently it wasn't then and certainly isn't now.
I once had a couple who told me that they were not going to teach their children the faith because they wanted them to choose on their own. They didn't want to interfere with their children.
This seems to be a common misunderstanding that many parents embrace today.
If we do not teach our children, if we do not formed them and shape them, then what will they stand on. If do not give them a foundation or basis of right and wrong or good and evil then what will their minds grab hold of, what will be the anchor of strength in their life.
Parents tell me they don't want to indoctrinate their children. Isn't not teaching them, still teaching them! Isn't refusing to pas son doctrine in itself indoctrinating them!
The parents who tell me this really are not concerned about their children. They are more concerned about themselves. THey excuse themselves form the very responsibility God places upon them. They use their children as a scape goat. Rather, they embracing the role as guardian they pass the buck to their unsuspecting child who is thrown to the wolves with the defense.
Most time I reminds the parents that they go out of the way to protect the health of their child. They buy the best diapers, the best lotion, the best clothes. they spend countless dollars of good food and good nutrition. They take their child to the doctor when he is sick. They do all this for the body, won't they also have the same concern for the child's spirit.
Common sense has been trampled upon in our society. Perhaps it was the same in the time of Moses.
It is time to rediscover this reality. It is time for parents to be parents. It is time for them to give them a foundation to stand on so that they know what it good and evil, right and wrong. Without a foundation the children are left to their own device and we know how that turns out.
Give them a foundation. What they do with it is their business. Not to give them anything is like refusing to feed them and clothed them. Even CPS would have something to say about that.