One July Sunday while addressing our BCFR (Family Retreat) Team, I read Sunday’s gospel and proceeded to give a reflection on it. There seemed a need to address a service burden among the team and I felt the gospel for that day about Martha and Mary was related to our concern. This being a popular story there was no need to elaborate on the two main characters to which many of us identify with.
Many of us indeed tend to be Marthas, so in love with the service of the Lord, rather than being Mary, in love with the Lord of the service. Being a Martha as Jesus distinguished may not be too distant and wicked but Mary’s role IS the better one. However there was still one aspect of ‘Marthaism’ I wanted to point out. So I related this modern parable to illustrate it.
There was this aging foreman who was so tired of his long career in building homes that he wanted to retire. He approached his builder boss and immediately made his urgent request. But his builder boss had different plans. He told his foreman, “ No, I am not allowing you to retire until you build this one house for me.” “But boss! I absolutely have no energy left in me, “ protested the foreman. But the builder would not budge.
So grudgingly the foreman reported for work and, being so experienced in construction, proceeded to apply all kinds of short cuts just to get the job done quickly. After several months the foreman reported to his boss and handed the keys to the newly constructed house over to him. “You know you have been such a valuable partner of mine and have given me so much success and satisfaction in our many projects,” said the boss. Then he gave the keys to the new house back to the foreman. “Here are the keys of your new house as my retirement gift to you. This is your house!”
The shock received by the foreman can very well be our own as we move forward to serve our Lord in the Family Retreat I told the service team. If we serve grudgingly, we know we are not giving our best. But we must realize that God could very well spring a surprise on us since He knows very well what lies in our hearts.
Two evenings later as I was watching EWTN I had a confirmation about the above like no other as I watched a study unfold on the topic of demographic winter. The segment, that can be found in www.demographicwinter.com, was about a study in which several social scientists and economists, ‘number crunchers’ specifically, put the ‘microscope’ on the concern about worldwide population growth.
History has revealed that as far back as the 60’s, studies mushroomed about the need to control runaway population growth because it might not match the limited resources of the earth. The world at that time was at its peak of growth as the Baby Boomer generation, especially in the United States after World War II, brought forth children unlike no other time in history. Families of 6 or 8 children were considered ordinary in size. The scientists put these statistics side by side with the world economy’s rise and decline from the 60’s to the 21st century. Guess what came out? The very same Baby Boomer rise and decline had a very close and similar pattern to the world’s economy.
In short, population decline and the demographic winter (more elderly vs. a tinier young labor force), characterized by the rapid aging of the developed countries’ populations resulted in and caused such economic decline.
Scientists faced with these hard statistics are now seeing the root cause of the financial crash of 2008 to be the decline of the human family. They are also seeing that developed societies which have applied the brakes to their population growth have also unleashed an attitude and thinking which practically makes it irreversible.
The Sexual Revolution of the 60’s and 70’s resulted in negative attitudes towards marriage and family. Promiscuity, high divorce rates (1 in 2 marriages ending in divorce in the U.S.), homosexuality, and single parenthood are all on the rise. Statistics support that in the U.S. alone 60 percent of married couples now do not want to have children. This thinking has brought upon many countries the phenomenon of vanishing children not due to kidnapping or white slavery but due to the catastrophic drop in birth rates. Hundreds of schools in Japan and Germany have closed down simply because the huge school buildings would have only one, two or three students.
Worthwhile noting in this chilling scientific study is that, while it is pinpointed that the decline of the human family is the future cause of the downfall of humanity, the solution makes hard-core scientists see religious.
The solution lies in a strong bond of love between husband and wife benefitting the offspring who themselves will desire having their own loving families! Imagine! The future of humanity lies in the hands of families like ours striving with programs that seek to strengthen family bonds such as BCBP’s Family Retreat. The future lies in the very strong LOVE relationship between husbands and wives like our very selves.
All over, I see God saying with a loud voice “THIS IS YOUR HOUSE.” And us replying “AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE , WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!”