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Passing the Torch - Family Reflection Video

Passing the Torch - Family Reflection Video

Why pray?

Are you familiar with the phrase, “passing the torch”? 

Reading and reflecting on Paul’s address and Jesus’ prayer to the Father led me to see how Jesus and Paul were preparing their listeners to carry on the mission. Or as some would say, “they were passing the torch.” (Which by the way, is lit and burns, radiating light for us to see the way.) 

Paul summons the presbyters (priests) of the Church at Ephesus and reminds them of how he conducted himself, what he taught, and how he gave witness to faith in our Lord Jesus. 

Jesus prays to the Father in a way that summarizes His completion of a mission to redeem mankind and asks the Father to glorify Him so that “your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.” 

Paul, like Jesus, is leaving those he has been given by God. Jesus says, “I pray for them.” 

With Jesus, we see the relationship between the Father and the Son, which includes a plan to save us from ourselves and from evil itself. 

With Paul, we have a recap of how he immersed himself into the community, serving the Lord in humility and, as he says, “persevering through tears and trials, not shrinking from teaching what would benefit you both in your homes and in public.” 

Paul bore witness to all, both Jews and Greeks, to repentance before God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Paul tells them that the Holy Spirit is leading Him to go to Jerusalem, even though the Spirit is warning him of imprisonment and hardship. 

As I reflected on both St. Paul’s and Jesus’ words, I thought of how, as we grow older, we have a greater urgency in wanting to pass on the faith to our younger family members or even our contemporaries. Here at the Father Peyton Center—Museum of Family Prayer we receive many such prayer requests. 

The passage of time, and certainly the Holy Spirit, directs us to want to fulfill our God-given mission on earth and to prepare those given to us to be ready to carry the torch when we leave them and go home to God, but even before then, if possible. 

Jesus prays for us and, in His words, reminds us that He will no longer be in the world, but for the time being, we are in the world. 

Where are we on our journey on earth? What has God given us to do … to be like St. Paul, teaching in our homes and in public, bearing witness to the Gospel of God’s grace? Are we prepared and willing to proclaim by words and actions the entire plan of God? 

These are weighty questions and responsibilities, and I have heard many parents of teenagers and even middle-aged sons and daughters speak of their desire to have their children embrace and live in accordance with Jesus and His Church. 

I believe we need to be like Paul, doing everything we can and then, as Jesus did, continue to pray for them … placing our trust in God’s providential care and guidance. 

So that when it is our time to leave this world, we will have the peace of mind that our loved ones will be prepared to fulfill their God-given mission, including teaching and guiding the next generation on what it means to say and believe that Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. 

May God bless you all and may we keep the light of Christ, that torch, burning brightly in ourselves so that we may share and pass it on to our families and all whom God gives to us.

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!