Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2015 Contents REV COURTNEY A JONES
In the beginning, God estab-
lished the family as the first of
all human relationships. From
that family, God built society.
Nothing has changed! The fam-
ily is still the foundational unit
of society. In fact, no church,
no community or nation is any
stronger than the families that
make it up.
If that is true, then each of us
should double our efforts to
ensure that our families are all
that they should be. Husbands
and wives have a God-given obli-
gation to create a home that
allows their children to become
all they have been designed by
the Lord to be.
We all know that our children
grow. They enter our homes as
infants and leave as something
resembling adults. We need to
also understand that parents
grow up during this process.
When children come into the
home, they do not come with
an instruction manual. Parenting
is literally on-the-job training.
One day you are waiting for a
baby, the next day, and for the
rest of your life, you become a
parent. No one knows how to do
it instinctively, it is learned
moment by moment and mistake
by mistake. So there is a sense
in which parents and children
grow up together.
The book of Ephesians 6:1-4
offers some help in the matters
of parenting and of growing from
childhood into adulthood.
In verses 1-3 Children are told
to "obey" their parents. This
word means "to submit to, to
comply with, to follow directions
and instructions. It can literally
mean to "hear under." It is a
command and not a suggestion!
This means that a child is to
listen to the voice of his or her
parents attentively and they are
to respond to what they hear
with perfect submission. They
are to do as they are told.
Obedience in the home lays
the foundation for obedience
throughout life. You see, every-
thing in God s universe can be
boiled down to obedience. The
planets and stars, the seas and
the animal kingdom all operate
in strict obedience to the com-
mands of the Lord. Humanity is
the only part of God s creation
that walks in rebellion to the
revealed word of God.
As children learn to obey their
parents, they are setting the stage
for obedience throughout their
lives. They are learning respect
and authority, and they are learn-
ing to obey voices of authority,
school government, etc. That will
become part of their lives later
on. Young people you will always
walk under someone s authority.
Ultimately, children are learn-
ing to walk in obedience to the
Lord when they walk in obedi-
ence to their parents.
In my next article on this sub-
ject, we will talk about your atti-
tudes---children are also told to
"honour" their parents.
August 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
"Obedience in the home lays the foundation for obedience throughout life.
Everything in God's universe can be boiled down to obedience...As children learn to
obey their parents, they are setting the stage for obedience throughout their lives."
No community or nation
stronger than family
REV COURTNEY A JONES
A few weeks ago, Pope Francis
released his encyclical Laudato Si,
or more formally, On Care for Our
Common Home, a global wake-up
call to help humanity understand
the destruction man was rendering
the environment and his fellow
Catholic Media Services Ltd (Cam-
sel), living up to its communications
mandate, had its research team head-
ed by Carmel Drake pore over several
quotes.html#gensum and completed
a summary of Laudato Si, which will
be published in this space over the
next few weeks, so that not only
Catholics, but the entire nation could
clearly understand the dire warning
of Pope Francis.
In the next few weeks, Camsel will
use this space to summarise the six
chapters which make up the encycli-
cal, using specific quotes to empha-
sise the various important points.
While Laudato Si addresses the
environment directly, the document s
scope is broader in many ways as it
looks not only at man s effect on the
environment, but also the many
philosophical, theological and cultural
causes that threaten the relationships
of man to nature and man to each
other in various circumstances.
This document is, in many ways,
the epitome of Pope Francis. It is an
unexpected topic. It presents gospel
truths, while providing a challenge
for every believer and even non-
believers. Laudate Si translates to,
Praise be to you, which is the first
line of a canticle by St Francis that
praises God with all of His creation.
Normally, papal documents are
addressed to the bishop of the church
or the lay faithful, but just like Pope
St John XXIII s "Pacem in Terris,"
Pope Francis addressed his message
to all people and he makes it very
clear from the very beginning, that
the goal of the document is that he
would like to enter into dialogue with
all people about our common home.
The Pontiff said, "I urgently appeal,
then, for a new dialogue about how
we are shaping the future of our
planet. We need a conversation that
includes everyone since the environ-
ment challenge we are undergoing
and its human roots concern and
affects us all."
He continued, "The ecological cri-
sis is also a summary to profound
interior conversion. It must be said
that some committed and prayerful
Christians, with the excuse of realism
and pragmatism, tend to ridicule
expressions of concern for the envi-
"Others are passive, they choose
not to change their habits and thus
become inconsistent. So what they
all need is an ecological conversion
whereby the effect of their encounter
with Jesus Christ becomes evident
in their relationship with the world
around them," said the Pope.
Additionally, he said that living
our vocation to be protectors of God s
handiwork was essential to a life of
No matter who you are or where
you find yourself in relation to pro-
tecting the environment, Pope Francis
has this message for you, "I invite
all to embrace with open hearts the
Encyclical which is in line with the
church s social doctrine."
Next week, we will feature a sum-
mary of the first three chapters of
• Vernon Khelawan is media rela-
tions officer of Catholic Media Services
Ltd (Camsel), the official communi-
cations arm of the Archdiocese of
Port-of-Spain. Its offices are located
at 31 Independence Square. Telephone:
While Laudato Si addresses
the environment directly, the
document's scope is broader
in many ways as it looks not
only at man's effect on the
environment, but also the
theological and cultural
causes that threaten the
relationships of man to
nature and man to each other
in various circumstances.
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