Passing It On

March 23, 2022

But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children. —Deuteronomy 4:9

My friends Katie and Pete did what Moses asked the Israelites to do: pass the faith onto their children. They raised their four boys in the church. They prayed with them and taught them stories from the Bible, the Ten Commandments, and the Beatitudes. They helped them learn to live as Jesus taught.

Sadly, their grown children no longer practice their religion. It’s distressing and sad for my friends to see that their grandchildren aren’t being introduced to the faith and don’t hear conversations about Jesus or God in their homes. When they babysit for the grandkids over the weekends, there’s always a question about how much they can or should talk about God, if they are allowed to read to the kids from a children’s Bible, or if they can take them to Mass with them. Because their daughter-in-law has a strong bias against Christianity, they don’t feel it’s fair to disrespect her wishes.

Thankfully, Katie and Pete know that our God is still present and active in their grandchildren’s lives even if God isn’t named aloud. They are not worried that the grandchildren will be excluded from heaven because they don’t know Jesus. But their grief in not sharing something so central and life-giving in their lives is real.

For reflection: With whom have you tried to share your faith explicitly? Is there anyone in your life now who might need to hear from you because they are not hearing about it from anyone else?

To Pray: God, give me the courage and the right words to speak so that I might make you known to others.