From the editor: May 09, 2014

Rembrandt Painting
The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Rembrandt

Not the Perfect
Mom or Dad?

To be honest, my very positive appreciation of the new film Irreplaceable came as a bit of a surprise. I saw the film this week at a local theater. It will be back May 15, I believe.

I think what struck me the most was its avoidance of idealizing the family and its eventual confrontation of some of the brokenness most of us experience or witness.

Indeed, many of the greeting card messages you will find for Father's Day or Mother's Day talk about the perfect dad or the perfect mom. We know that our parents are not perfect and also that we are not perfect sons and daughters or siblings, and we are not perfect parents to our children. And, many times, very far from perfect.

What Irreplaceable points to, especially through the personal story that emerges from the making of the documentary, is the need for redemption, and the desire for reconciliation so poignantly expressed in our Lord's Parable of the Prodigal Son, which is really about the Father and His love for all. The viewing of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son by the narrator, Tim Sisarich, was quite moving to me.

Family tensions and misunderstandings—like trials and temptation—are inevitable in life. Even in the Gospel accounts of Our Lord's life we find flashes of familial anxiety in the story of Jesus at 12 being found in the Temple, the bewilderment (even opposition) of his "brothers," and perhaps his initial response to his Mother at the Wedding of Cana. Yet somehow Grace prevails; our poor water may be turned into Wine when we confess our sins, admit our faults, ask forgiveness, and above all love one another in imitation of the Savior, who shows us the Father's love. There may be no perfect moms or dads, but there is perfect Love, to which we all can repair for healing and inspiration, every day. So inspired, we can truly say, "Thank you, Mom, I love you!"

Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture,
—James M. Kushiner


© The Fellowship of St. James. 2014

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