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Life in Christ

535

stature, wisdom, and grace. “With all your heart honor your father,

and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that

through your parents you were born; what can you give back to

them that equals their gift to you?”

19

2216

Filial respect is shown by true docility and

obedience.

“My

son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your

mother’s teaching. . . . When you walk, they will lead you; when

you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake,

they will talk with you.”

20

“A wise son hears his father’s instruc­

tion, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”

21

2217

As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should

obey his parents in all that they ask of himwhen it is for his good or that of

the family. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the

Lord.”

22

Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their

teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child

is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a

particular order, he must not do so.

As they grow up, children should continue to respect their par­

ents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and

accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the

emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them.

This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy

Spirit.

2218

The fourth commandment reminds grown children of

their

responsibilities toward their parents.

As much as they can, they

must give themmaterial and moral support in old age and in times

of illness, loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of

gratitude.

23

For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he

confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever

honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his

mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honors his

father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he

prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have

long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his

mother.

24

19

Sir

7:27-28.

20

Prov

6:20-22.

21

Prov

13:1.

22

Col

3:20; cf.

Eph

6:1.

23 Cf.

Mk

7:10-12.

24

Sir

3:2-6.

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