The readings today are about Jesus and Jeremiah launching their adult careers, and priests often use such stories to launch them on talking about our their vocations. Today, instead, I find my thoughts turning toward the vocations of parents with families to raise.
I recall an evening long ago when I got into a fight with a brother-in-law over this matter. Another young priest and I were visiting with him and my sister when they had just the first four of their eventual nine. With all his worries about housing and educating them, my brother-in-law told my priest friend and me, “You Fathers really have it soft. Whatever happens the church will take care of you.”
That wasn’t quite true. Over my next dozen years in Korea I was often badly strapped for necessities. Still, there was a lot in what my brother-in-law said, and I shouldn’t have gotten mad, and gone out to sit in the car, leaving my priest friend to apologize for me. Priests do have the church to fall back on, while young couples have to make it on their own. Like Jesus and Jeremiah, they need all God’s help in their great adventure of raising a family.
St. Paul, in the Second Reading speaks of what they are most in need of when it comes to raising a family. Love can make it do-able, and perfect love can make it a joy.