On this Second Sunday of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises. This week we focus on the obedience of Noah and Abraham in their covenant relationships with God. And today, we focus on sin as a broken relationship.
I grew up in what I think is a typical Catholic family. The third of six children, we celebrated Sundays and the Holy Days. Much like many other families, we prepared for Christmas in the usual ways: buying presents, decorating the tree, etc.
I have many fond memories of Christmas, but for some reason I always associate Christmas decorating with turmoil. I think this is because my childhood home seemed to fill with arguments and discord when it came time to decorate the tree. And so now, while my wife looks forward to the Yule decorations with joy, my overriding emotion is a sense of dread because of this baggage from my childhood. It’s not an egregious brokenness, but it’s mine.
My brokenness is not just a sign that my relationship within my family of origin was less than perfect; it also hinders my efforts to enter into a more complete union with my wife. This is like sin. Sin is not only the result of my turning from God, it is also a symptom of that broken relationship and causes further deterioration. Sin begets sin.
Just as my divine relationship is incomplete, so is that within my earthly family. Each family is, after all, composed of human beings. But my role as father and husband is not to dwell on the imperfections of the family but to seek to draw my family closer to perfection through a closer unity with God.
The best way to strengthen my family is to grow closer to God. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!