The Lord honours the father in his children,
and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
but will serve as reparation for your sins.
Alternative first reading for the feast of the Holy Family
In other words, what comes around goes around… but while you can learn what it is to be human, truly human, fully human.
For a guide to love in marriage, and love in family more broadly – and the life of love lived more broadly still – Chapter Four of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia is hard to beat!
Holy Family, Nicolas Poussin, Pushkin Museum, Moscow. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.