THE FAMILY• We all belong in family.• Who we are and what we are can be traced back to our family.• We are all the product of the kind of relationships we have in the family.
•It is not the source only of ourmaterial needs and emotionalsupport. Most of all it is the sourceof most of our fundamental values.We can rightly call therefore thefamily as the cradle of all othervalues. (e.g. reverence for life,honesty justice – are all firstlearned in the family.)
But today the family is underattack: marital infidelities,broken marriages, parentalabuse, widening gap betweenparents and children etc.These problems threaten notonly family relationships butalso community relationships.
WHAT IS A FAMILY? It is a community of persons, composedof a father and a mother united inmarriage, together with their children In a family, procreation (openness) andeducation of children are implicit.Love is also implied
CONDITIONS BESETTING THE FILIPINO FAMILY At the core of our being is our family – whatwe are and who we are, we owe them allfrom the family. Through it we find oursecurity, strength and supportOn account of this, we become loyal to ourfamily (members) and committed to thegood of it.But the Filipino Family is under attack!
1. the pressure to attain economic securityDue to poverty and low income, manyparents are forced to seek employmentabroad. As a result, children are left tothe care of their relatives.Unfortunately, some parents workabroad not because of poverty or lowincome but to seek greater comforts inlife.
The loving and caringpresence of the parentsespecially in the earlydevelopment of their childrencannot be compensated byany material gain.
Parents remain as integralparts of their children’sgrowth. This problem has ledto the undermining of thetraditional family values ofsolidarity, fidelity and selfsacrifice.
2. The mindset of seeing relationshipsprimarily as an exchange of goods, i.e“what I can get out of thisrelationship.” . . . very selfish.If uncontrolled, this attitude or mentalitycan affect even marriage. It means thatmarriage is motivated or seen assomething that can given me pleasure.Responsibility and self-sacrifice inmarriage are lost.
As a result we have problems inrelationships like: maritalinfidelities, broken homes . . .Pope John Paul II (Familiaris Consortio)reminds us every family issummoned by God to live out itsmission: to become a community oflife and love.
CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE FAMILY 1. It is a covenant relationship Normally, the expression of selfless concern and love is very common in a family. But why? This force is what we call love. But what is love?
We are created out of God’s love,because of this the love that existswithin the family is just a mirror orreflection of God who created us out oflove.This love in the family is made morelucid through genuine commitmentand self sacrifice of every member ofthe family (to work, to cook etc. . .)
This love in the family starts with thelove and fidelity between our parents,formally expressed in the covenant oflove in the sacrament of marriage (untildeath do us part – it is a pledge ofeverlasting fidelity). (cf. God’s covenant withAbraham, Israel and in the Incarnation of Jesus)Note: just as God’s covenant –love brings fullness of life to Israel, so the covenant- love of our parents allows us to be born, raised, nourished and respected.
Marriage is not just a contract(something agreed – to take andgive). It is a sacrament. Jesus ispresent in it. Therefore it is ourduty to defend marriage againstanything that would threaten it.(e.g. divorce etc…)
2. Domestic ChurchIn the bible, Jesus is seen as thegroom of the Church.The love that exists (respect, care)between the spouses and in thefamily is a sharing in the love of theChrist to the Church.It becomes a symbol of Christ’s love.
Therefore, since the family is thefoundation of the Church (where loveis first experienced and God taughtand values caught), we can rightly callthe family as a “domestic Church.”Since it is the domestic church, lifemust be welcomed and nourished. It isthrough the family that we all firstexperience God.
3. The First and Vital Cell of SocietyThe family is the most basiccommunity in the society. Thisimplies that the family is thenecessary unit where citizens areborn and raised.Thus it is the vial cell of the societywhere citizens are nurtured andtrained to become good andproductive members of the society.
Through the family the children(citizens) are trained to respect peoplein authority and follow rules andregulations, to be diligent andpersevering.Thus a Catholic family can greatlycontribute for the betterment of thesociety or nation.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT“HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOURMOTHER, SO THAT YOUR DAYS MAYBE LONG IN THE LAND THE LORDYOUR GOD IS GIVING YOU.” (Ex. 20:12)“HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOURMOTHER, AS THE LORD YOUR GODCOMMANDED YOU, SO THAT YOURDAYS MAY BE LONG AND THAT ITMAY GO WELL WITH YOU IN THELAND THAT THE LORD YOUR GOD ISGIVING YOU.” (Dt. 5:16)
FOR THE ISRAELITES: The Hebrew word for “honor” goes deeper than simple respect and obedience to parents. In this context it means “to give weight to” or “to acknowledge the importance of.” This means: to take the situation of the parents seriously and to listen to what our aging parents have to say.
This presupposes that parents,most especially when they areold, “are not to be left in theperiphery of society, but theyare to be integrated into itslife.” We have to preserve andlearned from their wisdom andexperiences.
For the Israelites, to honorincludes the duty to supportthe parents financially,especially when they are oldand when they ca no longersupport themselves.
This commandment givesthe assurance that eachone would be sure that he/she will be cared for whenold and thus “have a longlife in the land thatYahweh has given…”
This commandment,historically and evennow, is addressedprimarily to adults andnot to children whoseparents are aged.
A family can only be truly afamily if there is respect andlove in it. This reality isenshrined in the fourthcommandment! To honormeans: to show propergratitude, affection, respect,obedience and care to parents.
Scriptural meaning:It links the first three commandments(relationship with God) with the remainingcommandments (relationship with others)Place of the 4th commandment in theDecalogue:1. After God . . . then parents. . .•Love of neighbors is first planted in the family, in relation to our parents . . .(andso with the other values associated with it.
Loving our parents is not justan obligation, it is a God-given duty and responsibility– it is an act of faith. Lovingthem is obeying thecommandment and obeyingthe commandment is lovingGod.
This is the onlycommandment that bearsa promise: “that you mayhave a long life in the landwhich the Lord, your Godis giving you.”
By honoring/respecting our parents,the value of the family is protected.Through the 4th commandment, we arereminded that prosperity (long/happylife) is achieved through genuine loveand respect for parents. This is a concrete example of theinseparable link between the love ofGod and neighbor.
Obstacles to Honoring Our Parents 1. Abusive or neglectful parents (duties) Even inflict harm: physical, emotional, psychological; abandonment 2. may be due to natural process of growing up- when children seem to distance themselves from their parents – to discover new things, friends and relationship; they assert their independence.
Obstacles to Honoring Our Parents 3. generation gap: disparity in preferences, attitudes, behaviors, belief between children and parents due to changing historical and social conditions experienced (ex. Music, dances, garments, values, attitudes . . . )
Nevertheless, respect mustbe given to them even interms of disagreement;respect their authority,listen to them andunderstand them also.
Duty to care for the elderly in the societyOriginal meaning of the 4th commandment:to care for the aged parent (not to leave thembehind in their journey because they areaged; instead to care for them even whenthey are no longer productive; Learn fromtheir wisdom; they should be seen aspersons not as burdens In our country still Ok but we have to be verycareful, especially from outside influences
Duty to love our brothersand sisters:if we love our parents, it isonly natural to love alsoour brothers and sisters
Duties of parents: to respect the rights anddignity also of their children;to be responsible for theirspiritual and moral growthand development, not onlymaterial needs
How to strengthenfamily life: Learn to listenDo things togetherLearn to say “I am sorry” “I forgive”Learn to say “I love you”
FOR US TODAY:+ to honor our parents is to respect their words and obey their commands
+ to support our parents finally when they are very old is not only a matter of obligation, it is a God-given duty.
+ this commandment is the first commandment in the second table of the Law – this implies the priority of this commandment over the rest of the commandments – second to God. (Read Sirach 3:1-16)
+ Note:“If our parents or lawful superiorscommand us to do anything that is beyondtheir legitimate authority . . . we are notbound to obey them; and if what theycommand is against God’scommandment, `we must obey God,rather than men.’ (Ac 5:29; 4:19)But even then, we should respect andhonor them.”