Pierced Hearts 12-27-20

He was the light of their lives – but that light darkened for a time.
His addiction “pierced” the lives of his entire family. But with patience
and sacrifice, they got their son help and managed to heal the wound that
cut their family so deeply. Today him mom and dad are part of a group
of other parents who have gone through the same nightmare and offer
support and counsel to families living through it now. Because of them,
many hearts are “revealed”.
Some “piercings” are harder to heal: For three summers, she
volunteered for two weeks to serve as a counselor for a camp for city
children at risk. Then came the phone call that “pierced” their hearts.
The night before she was to come home, she and a group went out for
pizza. Two in the group were hurt but survived the crash, but their
daughter lost too much blood. Now her mom and dad and brother have
formed a foundation for the camp program in her name. Their daughter
and sister’s light continues to shine.

Every parent’s heart is “pierced” as they suffer with and for their
children: illnesses, disappointments, break-ups, and stumbles. The roads
our daughters and sons travel from infancy to childhood, from teen to
adulthood, can be hard to negotiate and treacherous – and Mom and
Dad’s hearts are “pierced” every step of the way. Parenthood requires
patience, wisdom and generosity that many first-time mothers and
fathers especially don’t believe they possess – but they discover over
time that their love makes them better moms and dads than they
imagined. They come to realize God’s grace in their Nazareth.
Today’s Feast of the Holy Family reminds us that being a family is
a journey of changes and challenges – what Simeon calls “piercings” in
today’s Gospel – and that it’s the love of our spouses and children and
brothers and sisters that enables us to negotiate and survive those
“piercings”, to learn from those challenges, to move on from those
difficult situations wiser and more loving. Our belonging to a family

means that every one of us – parent and child – reflects for one another

the selfless, limitless and unconditional love of Christ, both in good

times and bad. The Holy Family is a model for our own families as we

struggle together to adapt and change and cope with the many tensions
and crises that challenge the stability, peace and unity that are the joys of
being a family.


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