Among the most difficult rejections that parents may face is when the faith which is so important to them is not embraced by their adult children. There is a special kind of suffering that comes for parents in this situation. How can it be that something that is so important to them not be embraced by the children they love? How hard indeed.
Yet this is precisely what happens in the first reading when the Israelites turn away from God to serve the Baals. Despite all that God has done for his people, they turn away. They cannot embrace the way of life God has given to them, despite all of the marvels God has performed again and again.
Despite the power of God that had been witnessed, the desire to “fit in” with those nations around them proved too strong to resist. But when they turned their back upon God and were led astray, what happened? Was it not precisely that they found themselves lost, oppressed and abandoned?
God sought to provide for the people even though they turned away. Guides and judges were given them. Despite the rejection by the people, God remained with them and loved them. God reached out to help them over and over.
This seems important in our day too. We do not need to look too far to see that we too have too often rejected God. And as a result, our lives have become horribly disheveled. We can be lost, defeated. Or, we can find ourselves in a situation where we do not even notice the impact of rejecting God.
It seems that the most important element needed to “get back on track” is to be open to a deeper relationship with God. For those who have such a relationship with God, it is more likely we will not only see what God provides to help us, but to follow such help as well. For those who worry about a loved one, the key is to create the type of witness and environment that makes it most likely they will succeed in seeing the value of the relationship with Jesus. Certainly it is also a good thing to pray for them as well. Remember that Saint Monica, whose feast we celebrate in a couple of weeks, prayed for years for her son Augustine before he embraced the Lord.
Whatever we do it is important to be open to what God wants from us. For if we do, we know we are never going to be alone.