A DIFFERENT FAMILY
Among Catholics the value of family is almost instinctively defended, but we don’t always stop to reflect on the concrete content of a family project, understood and lived out from the Gospel. What would a family inspired by Jesus look like?
The family, according to him, has its origin in the mystery of the Creator that attracts the woman and the man to be «just one flesh», sharing their lives in a mutual self-giving, animated by a free and gratuitous love. This is first and decisive. This loving experience of the parents can engender a healthy family.
Following the deep call of love, the parents become a fountain of new life. It’s their most passionate task. It can give a new depth and breadth to their love. It can consolidate forever their creative work in the world.
The children are a gift and a responsibility. A difficult challenge and an incomparable satisfaction. Jesus’ activity, always defending the little ones and embracing and blessing the children, suggests the basic attitude: take care of the fragile life of those who are starting their journey in this world. No one could offer them anything better.
A Christian family tries to live out an original experience in the midst of today’s indifferent and agnostic society: build their home from Jesus. «Where two or three come together in my name, I am there in their midst». It’s Jesus who breathes within, sustains, and guides the healthy life of the Christian family.
The home then becomes a privileged space to live out the most basic experiences of the Christian faith: trust in a Good God who befriends human beings, the attraction of Jesus’ style of life, the discovery of God’s project of building a world that’s more worthy, just and loving for all. The reading of the Gospel as a family is a decisive experience.
In a home where Jesus is allowed to be alive with simple faith but with great passion, a family grows that is welcoming and sensitive to the suffering of the most needy, where one learns to share and be committed to a more human world. A family that doesn’t close itself only in its own interests but that lives open to the human family.
Many parents today live overwhelmed by different problems, and all too alone in dealing with their task. Couldn’t they receive some concrete and effective help from Christian communities? Many believing parents could benefit much by getting together, sharing their questions and supporting each other mutually. It’s not of the Gospel to demand heroic deeds and then back off from their struggles and pains.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf