Fr. Keven this morning gave a few words on today's Gospel, Mt. 19: 13-15. This is the Gospel where Jesus tells his disciples to let the children come to Him, and He blesses them. Fr. Kevin said that children are among society's most vulnerable. And they still need protection today. We still have child slavery, child porn, abuses, and neglect.
This led to my reflection on today's gospel. I was reading "Our Endangered Species, A Hard Look at How We Treat Our Children," by Andrew Vachss and was given plenty of food for thought. Vachss' article begins with an infant showing signs of suicide because he had no reason to live.
He was only an infant, and his mother was torturing him.
Yeah...when you start breathing again, Vachss explains how society has not advanced when it comes to parenting and protecting our most vulnerable. It's shocking and it's true. However I tie in the religious aspect. While it is unconscionable to maltreat a child and helpless infant, is it not even more unacceptable to kill the unborn? If we kill our own vulnerable babies, why does it shock anyone that we torture other innocents?
Another article, Vijai P. Sharma writes in Mind Publications, "How We Treat Our Children Says How Civilized We Are," gives a history of child rearing. In prehistoric times, children only had one parent--their mother. Fathers didn't have a role. Gradually males came into the picture. And once religion was introduced, then the human being was given dignity, because he had a soul, which was created in the image and likeness of God. Gradually, over time more humane considerations were given to children. However, as Vachss points out, we have a way to go to protect all children.
I also think of how today the concept of family is being eroded. With the political acceptance of same sex couples, what will happen to the natural idea of motherhood? The traditional mother carries her infant in her womb. Even in the history lesson that Sharma gives in his article, the mother was the primary natural bonding agent in the parent/child relationship, from the beginning of time. Going through labor kicks in more than lactation. God created two species--why? Think about it.
And if He created man and woman to be His helpers in creation, then that's the way it was meant to be. Man and woman birthing their family. Carrying this thread even further, then obeying God's commandments is the way to safeguard all mankind--especially our children.
I'll finish with a quote from Nelson Mandela, "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."