Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jeremy Lin and His Parents

I'm preparing to speak to Catholic parents along with their children this weekend about the importance of faith, family closeness, belief in God and prayer, forgiveness and staying faithful to the teachings of Jesus. I will tell them an interesting fact or two (well at least I find them interesting). One fact is that children who attend Mass (or other religious services) have higher GPA's than children who don't. (Obviously we should attend Mass to give honor and praise to God but there are many benefits of doing so......educational, spiritual, psychological and physical.

I read a great article in the New York Times on Sun. Feb. 26th titled, "Tight-Knit Family Shared Lin's Achievement Before Stardom," written by S. Borden and K. Bradsher. It told about the support and encouragement that Jeremy Lin's parents gave to him, not only in supporting his love of basketball (they showed up proudly at all his games), but also how important faith and Church was to the family. Jeremy Lin, the NY Knicks guard who has become an international sensation has been very vocal about his deep faith in God. He's not shy about praising God in thanksgiving for his blessings and talent. The events that led him to get "off the bench" and prove himself to the coaches (and the rest of the world) shows that when you combine talent, perseverance and prayer, miraculous things can happen. "With God all things are possible," is truth. Believers know that Scripture to be true, they've experienced it, over and over again.
As the Church teaches-parents are the primary religious educators of their children. It is crucial for parents to encourage their children to be faithful, to pray, to trust in God, and to be receptive to God's blessings, regardless of the faith community they belong to. Jeremy Lin is Protestant and his family is very involved in their Church. Jeremy was taught from an early age the importance of faith, prayer, patience and the benefits of belonging to a faith community.
As mentioned in the article, "Jeremy's life was formed by his parents", 'Fu-Chang Lo, an elder at the Lin family Church said last week and he and others who know the family maintain that in order to fully comprehend Lin's rise from relative anonymity, his parents' story must be understood.'" Later in the article it stated, "As devout Christians, Shirley (his mother) and Gie-Ming preached humility to their children and they spoke from experience...."
As this story clearly shows, good virtues, deep faith in God, a willingness to be receptive to God's abundant graces can help families to grow and develop in positive life-giving ways. I pray I can share that message this weekend with conviction.