For the last few days many people travelled for just one purpose: to meet their loved ones for Christmas. The desire of spending Christmas together was overwhelming and gave people courage to overcome many obstacles made by the bad weather. Some of them spent long hours in long traffic jams, some of them waited for cancelled flights or trains. Some of us were lucky enough just to watch reports of problems sitting before television in a warm room with a cup of hot tea. But some of us were in a warm, but lonely place, with nobody around us. And maybe some people were disappointed because their adult children didn’t appear for Christmas.
I myself kept in touch with my mother using the telephone and the internet. She spent a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner with her mother only and the Christmas day among her friends, but without her only son. Fortunately she understands that she brought me up not for herself.
Today’s first reading speaks about Hannah, a woman who was barren for years. Once she prayed at the Lord’s temple for a son. She made a vow to make him over to the Lord. Then she conceived and had a baby boy. A few years later the boy was old enough to be left by his mother. Later on he became one of the greatest characters of the Old Testament. Something similar happened a few hundred years later, when Mary let her son, Jesus, leave and accomplish his mission.
I think this is the hardest part of being a parent. We bring up children not for ourselves, but for others. Everybody has to live his or her life in a specific way. Your task as parents is to help them to find their own life mission and to equip them with moral values. You can do so much and nothing more…
Some of you have adult children. Some of you might feel disappointed when thinking about the lives they are leading. Some of you might worry too much that you did something wrong in the past. There is no need and no time to think about the past. All is done, you cannot change the past. Your children have to make their own decisions, even if they are bad or wrong ones. Your children have to take responsibility for their own lives. What can you do? You can still advise your adult children and you can still pray for them. You can do so much and nothing more… Don’t forget that God is a good father to us all.