Today is the feast day of Mary’s parents. It is interesting that this is an important day for the Burmese Sisters of Francis Xavier. They do not observe either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Rather than dividing them, they keep them together on this Parents’ Day.
It is a good thing to do. What each of you sees when you look in the mirror is a combination of your parent’s genes. Consider this question that St. Paul puts to you:
“What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?”
Your parents gave you all thirty thousand of your genes, but that was just the beginning of what they gave you. They gave you at least ten years of total support when you had no way of feeding and clothing yourself. In dollars how much do you think it all was worth? Then, they showed you how to pray, to laugh and study, to overcome every kind of clumsiness.
The best thing your parents gave you was themselves. They belonged to you while they lived; and you are a happy person if you find them available to your call.
One time an out-of-town girl at the Times Union came to the rectory with a problem. From New Orleans originally, she stopped church going when she went away to college. In time church came to mean nothing to her. She went to her father when he was dying, and his dying-wish was that she start going to church.
She came to church, but it did nothing for her, except that she was being true to her dad. When she came to the rectory to talk about it, I told her that for starters, it could keep her in contact with her dad. I told her that I had been away at school for eight years, then away to Korea for twelve; and that through all that time my dad and I kept in touch with weekly letters. Now that he has died, I feel his presence in church, and it works as well as the letters did. The girl said, “That’s neat.”