By reading Scripture we learn, “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (Exodus 20:12). This is a commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on earth’" (Deuteronomy 5:16).
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month and Father’s Day in June, may we heed this command of God penned in the Bible — honor thy father and mother.
What does it mean to honor our mother and father?
I heard one priest explain it as honoring them for the faith they passed down to their children.
Some theologians say that the fifth commandment links the first four commandments with the remaining five. Commandments one through four teach us how to love and respect God. Commandments five through ten show us how to love and respect our fellow man. Proper respect toward our fellow man begins in the home. The fifth commandment teaches us how to honor and respect our parents.
Honoring our parents includes how we communicate with our parents -- the tone we use, the words we choose as well as our body language. Perhaps this month and next, you can think of ways to honor your father and mother. Here are some ideas.
* With the Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift, write a note of gratitude. Thank your parents for all they have taught you and given you over the years.
* Share your favorite stories and life lessons from your parents to your children.
* Make time to spend time with Mom and Dad; we all have busy schedules but our parents will not be around forever. Invite them over for dinner or take them out for lunch.
* Go to church with them or even a weekend retreat. Embrace them with the faith by attending a religious event together.
* Pray together. Carve out time once a week or once a month to do the Rosary or a Novena with your parents.
* Go for a walk. Some of your best talks could transpire from a walk and you incorporate exercise as well.
* Just be present. Let your parents know that you are always a phone call away – always there to be there when they need you.