A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.'” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”
Then Peter said, “Look, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Hopefully I am not wrong in assuming that we all want to be good parents; we all want to do the next right thing and make good choices and avoid mistakes! Unfortunately it can be impossible for us to be perfect parents, to do everything right…even though the desire is there.
The demands of perfect parenting, just as the demands of perfectly following God’s commandments are pretty much out of our reach, as we are only humans and as such not only can we find it hard to be perfect, we can often become confused about how to even try, uncertain about what “…the next right thing…” is when it comes to parenting.
In today’s world we have many different voices telling us what is best for ourselves and our children, both professional and personal, secular and faith-based, and it can be confusing trying to figure out which advice to follow; and of course what is ‘right’ for one family may not work out well for another. So where do we find a good orderly direction in life and in our daily adventure as single parents?
The obvious answer here would be the scriptures: primarily the Commandments and the Gospels, and they do offer good instructions on how to deal with life on life’s terms, as well as how to be the best parents we can be…yet although seemingly simple it can be so incredibly hard to follow the Commandments, or even to walk in the footsteps of Christ, and as far as I know, no one has been able to do it perfectly!
The good news is that perfection is not a requirement!
As we are told in today’s Gospel what impossible for us is possible for God, and through the gift of Christ we are called to do the best we can, turning the results over to God! The way is still far from easy, but is now possible, and there is comfort in knowing that God is in charge of the results, and with us and our children as we move forward step by step,
Any one who could write a comprehensive (and correct) instruction manual on every type of parenting would not only become fabulously wealthy but also universally adored; however we are not likely to ever see such a manual in print…but it could be argued that we have something much better: the Bible, and our faith in God’s love, which helps us to make sense of it all, and which offers us guidance as we travel the often confusing road of Single (and all other types of) parenting.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you that we do not have to follow you perfectly, that all you call upon us to do is simply to follow you! Please continue to help us do the best we can as parents and as Christians, and help us to faithfully follow your good orderly direction as given through your Word and through Christ. Thank you that we all walk in the light of the Resurrection, and help us to share this light with our children and each other as we seek to live your Will in our challenging world.