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The Reality

In many cultures, the extended family includes grandparents and in-laws. Children receive direct support from their grandparents and relatives, and it is common for young people to stay with their parents until they are married.

After marriage, many young couples continue to live with their parents or in-laws. Respect for elders is an intrinsic part of such family relationships, but it can be hard. There is often a greater expectation and heavier responsibility for older siblings and children to help the family.

Jesus in word and action

The Sunday after Christmas is always dedicated to the Holy Family of Nazareth. Joseph and Mary presented Jesus, their first born, in the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-40).

At age 12, Jesus made the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his extended family and parents. Afterwards: “Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people” (Luke 2:51-52).


When Jane started working full time, she started giving part of her salary to her parents. Single and living with her parents, she saw this as her duty but began to feel it was a burden. She felt torn between her freedom, and her duty to provide for her parents. It was only at a church retreat that Jane began to dwell on the many sacrifices that her parents had shown her when she was young. She had always thought her parents were very strict, but began to see that they showed their love through acts like ensuring there was a warm meal waiting for her when she got home from work. Filled with gratitude, she now sees financial contributions and time she spends with her parents as gifts of love.

Gratitude can change family duty from a burden to a joyful expression of love. “Do all your work in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14), or as Saint Mother Teresa said: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

What the Church says...

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2215-2220), based on Scriptures written more than 2,000 years ago, offers us guidance that is still relevant for today:

2215: Respect for parents derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow…

“With all your heart honour your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; how can you repay what they have given to you?” (Sirach 7:27-28).

2218: The fourth commandment reminds children of their responsibilities toward their parents. As much as they can, they should give them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude in (Mark 7:10-12).

“For the Lord honoured the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
“Whoever honours his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
“Whoever honours his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard” (Sirach 3:2-5).

“Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord” (Sirach 3:16).


Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Christus Vivit: “Young people are the NOW of God.”

“We cannot just say that young people are the future of our world. They are its present; even now, they are helping to enrich it. Young people are no longer children. They are at a time of life when they begin to assume a number of responsibilities, sharing alongside adults in the growth of the family, society and the Church” (Christus Vivit 64).

“If the years of your youth are to serve their purpose in life, they must be a time of generous commitment, whole-hearted dedication, and sacrifices that are difficult but ultimately fruitful” (Christus Vivit 108).

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Identity Identified Bible Covers

Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.

This book also has a number of QR codes that link to a series of special videos that have numerous people sharing their stories and how they cope with life.

This is the perfect tool to help the younger generation in your life to follow Jesus as they navigate the challenges of life and trust him as a true friend and companion.