While enjoying mass this morning (June 3), streamed from the Cathedral of Mary the Assumption, in Saginaw, with Father Bill Rutkowski presiding, I was reminded of “spiritual parenthood” in his homily. Most of us have a knowledge of who our physical parents and heritage are, but how many of us know about our spiritual heritage? Who were those individuals who parented us spiritually? For most of us our biological parents were also our spiritual parents. Yet there were others. The priests, nuns, and lay people who we grew up with are also our spiritual parents, along with 2000 years of saints.
Father Bill gave three roles of spiritual parents. He spoke of them as teachers, encouragers, and models. In this sense I think that we are all called to be spiritual parents. Are we not all called to share with others the message of Jesus and his love for us? Should we not share with others how God has worked in our lives and how our lives are now different because of our relationship with Jesus and his Church? Who has not been called to follow Jesus and then given the grace to encourage others to live holy lives? Certainly, we have all been given the commission to live holy and exemplary lives and by becoming the people God created us to be, to live as examples of our spiritual heritage.
God continues to create us and nurture us by the living example of others by sharing our lives with them. We are molded and shaped by others and we mold and shape others by our lives. Our spiritual lives are not just the result of our early education, the experiences we had years ago, or even the historical passion and death of Jesus. For over 2,000 years men and women have been nurtured by their contemporaries as they continue to teach, encourage, and live as models of the Christian life. It is now our responsibility and privilege to live as teachers, encouragers and models for others and together spiritually parent each other. It is happening now! May we always be ready to teach, encourage, and model the love God has for us.
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you, and give you his peace.”