Saturday, December 30, 2017

Because I'm the Mommy That's Why

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph


SIR 3:2-6, 12-14

God sets a father in honor over his children; 
a mother's authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.
Sirach is also known as the Wisdom of Sirach or the Book of Ecclesiasticus.   The Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures did include this book making it popular among the Jewish Christians.  But when the Jews rewrote their canon it was not included.  It can be found in Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican versions of the Bible.
It is believed to have been written in 190 BC by Jesus ben Sirach.  It is referred to as 'Sirach'.  Since it was read in the church it was sometimes given the Latin name of 'Ecclesiasticus'.
No wonder the early Christians, and the Jews too, read and quoted this book.  It asserts the father as head of the household.  It puts in order who's who and what their responsibilities are.  
Feminists may not like the patriarchal tone of the Book, but you can't judge an era before Christ with today's eyes.  I maintain the familial order by asserting "because I'm the Mommy, that's why."
The older I get I also appreciate Sirach's admonitions to care for the elderly. Adult children caring for their parents is a relevant today as it was in Sirach's time.
Lord, may children love their parents and grandparents.  May they honor their wisdom and care for their parents as they get older.
God does not forget how you treat others.

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