Lk 11:37-41

 

When we read through the Gospels we find many examples of frustration for Jesus when he preaches the Gospel to the crowds, but they are seemingly incapable of understanding and embracing the truths they here. Today we have one of those examples. Jesus expresses it in terms of the people focusing on keeping the outside of the cup clean when they should have realized that it is from within their hearts and minds, within themselves, that the greatest forms of impurity are derived! The same is still true today.

 

Parents go to great lengths, at least I hope and pray they do, to do their best to see that their children receive good moral teachings and are exposed to good Christian values as they grow up. However, the vast majority of kids are given free reign over what they watch on television! There is a huge contradiction here as more often than not the values being expressed in the television shows, cartoons et al are patently non-christian. Violence, revenge, sex for pleasure alone, adultery and I could go on for a lot longer, are common fare in today’s world of entertainment. Some say that this merely reflects the realities that we find in the world around us. I say, “Do what!” to that as it is equally obvious that the media plays a huge role in forming the values of children particularly when their parents abdicate their responsibility in this matter and use the television or VCD or DVD as a baby-sitter!

 

Yes, there are some shows and movies that promote good values but they are few and far between! Yes, there are some shows that responsibly question worldly values and ideals but they must be viewed with constant parental supervision in order they are not misinterpreted by the child. The simple answer as to why teenagers are often seemingly ‘out of control’ and supposedly ‘undisciplined’ is precisely because they have imbibed these values of the world directly from the media to which they have such easy and unsupervised access. It is not easy being a parent; it is a huge responsibility that ends only with the correct formation of the character of the child in the ways of truth and righteous living. If someone then chooses a life of sin then that is truly the choice they have made but let us not allow the values of the media to become the default formation position for our children!

 

As a parent am I doing all that I can to form my children’s minds and hearts in the truth of the Gospel? What more can I do in this regard?

 

Holy Spirit, help me to set a good example for all the young people I know of a life lived according to the truths of the Gospel and the dignity of the human person.