The Love of Mother and Father

Submitted by Deacon Jim Krupka

Pope Francis describes the love of a mother and father for their child as a “spark of God’s love.” Rare is the entertainment sitcom that shows the dignity of a man and woman, married with children, united in the joy of family. Most of us know better. We see the richness of family. Mother and father give so much to their children beyond giving and feeding biological life. There is anticipation and care even before birth. The child gets a name that represents hope and love for the child’s place in the world. The parents bring smiles and warmth in those early days, months and years when children have little else.
We take much of this for granted. However, it is too good to look at this special two-parent love as a “take it or leave it” part of raising children. The Pope reminds us that “every child has a right to receive love from a mother and a father; both are necessary for a child’s integral and harmonious development.” Here we are talking about more than the individual love from each parent. There is a unique benefit originating from the mutual love given to the child that comes from a strong marriage and family.
When we gather in prayer, we use the word “Father” as we come before God. As we look to our Blessed Mother, we use the word “Mother.” We look to God as someone who cares for us or Mary who loves us. Without our human experience of loving parents, those words have little meaning. So much of what we understand about God comes from what we learn via love from our parents. The Pope describes parents as cooperative with God. One part of that cooperation is to be an “interpreter” for God for our children. Mothers and Fathers translate the unseen goodness of God into values that children take on as their foundation in life. Parents show the next generation what God is like through their actions and words. The challenge in our 21st-century world is to find ways to be present for children to let them see the ever-present face of God. Blessings to all mothers and fathers who introduce the future of humanity to God, who scripture tells us, is love.