The Acts of the Apostles records families coming en masse to the faith. This was not a decision for the “individual.” There was no such creature in Roman times. Rather a man, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, his in-laws and slaves and other hangers-on came together.
The Church urges us to pray for the healing and restoration of the family. Children learn to make sacrifice by their experience of family; first by watching their parents and then by being told to “share and share alike” with their siblings. They grasp diversity when they realize Dad is from Mars and Mom is from Venus. They comprehend cooperation when they see their parents – who share most (but not all) values – making compromises for the sake of unity. Without that formation they will be ill-prepared to take up the cross daily and follow in Jesus’ steps.
Today, as we watch the disintegration of the family, we can admire the father in today’s story. Like us, he is at his wit’s end. He appeals directly to Jesus from his helplessness and Jesus must respond. We are not only helpless to restore the family, we suffer a serious lack of faith. Our prayers start with, “God, if you can….”
Dear Lord, save us from our lack of faith and please restore us to sanity.