15 When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, 16 and he ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
20 He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
Often what we do in our role as a single parent goes unrecognized, which is okay with me, as when it does get noticed, people will either be critical of me for raising my child on my own, or will offer way too much praise for the “…amazing job you are doing”. Granted the latter is nicer, but still uncomfortable to me, as I do not feel I am doing such an ‘amazing job’, not only because I am only doing what I should be doing (and not always doing it that well), but also because I do not really see raising my child as a ‘job’ at all…a responsibility, yes, but also a privilege!
I did not choose to raise my child so that I would get praise, or compliments (although these are better than criticisms), but because it was the right thing to do, and I could not imagine my life without my daughter in it, I could not handle just being a ‘weekend dad’….and to put it very simply, I could see no other way to live my life; I am a father and raising my child is what I am called to do.
I think it is safe to assume that most of us became single parents simply because we could see no other way to live our lives; no other choice to make…it is simply who we are as people. In this way we can draw a comparison to Jesus in today’s Gospel, as he did what he did: preaching, teaching, comforting and healing, because he simply knew no other way to live his life; and although he did not want any notoriety for himself, his message was spread, and helped to change the world.
So too does our message spread, as we have an opportunity to share our faith with our children in all that we do…and even when we fall short, and make mistakes, how we deal with those mistakes teaches them how faith can be a tool to help us through the tough times, and can show them how God is present with us always….in this knowledge there is hope, and hope is something we could all use more of.
While my life has been made richer because I am a full-time single father, and there have been many moments of joy; there have also been times when life has become more challenging, and stressful, due to worry or concerns about my daughter. It is when these worries get the better of me that hope and faith in God’s presence in our lives have helped me to keep moving forward and doing what I needed to do to take care of my daughter.
One of the things that Jesus has taught us is to live our faith out loud, to face challenges as they come and not to run from them. As single parents, this is what we often have to do, as we cannot run from trouble but must face it head on! The good news is that we do not face these trials alone, but with the help of others, our friends and family, and also with the help of God, as through our faith we are never separated from God’s love.
As single parents we act out of love for our children, seeking to care for them, provide for them, and teach them how to face life on life’s terms. We will not always be perfect parents, and will make mistakes, but our children will know that we care, and will see in us an example of a faith that works, as long as we strive to follow the example of Jesus; the example of humble and loving service done in God’s name.
Let us Pray
God, thank you for being of service to us, by giving us hope and support as we face the challenges of being a single parent. Please help us to be the best parents we can, and to serve our children with humility and grace as we teach them how to live life on life’s terms. Let us always walk in faith, and never be afraid to ask for help, from you and from others…and let us always be ready to help those in need with what we have learned, along the journey of parenthood.