Open to God’s project
The Gospel accounts leave us no room for doubt. According to Jesus, God has a great project: build up in our world a great human family. Drawn to this project, Jesus devotes himself entirely to making everybody see God as Father and learn to live as brothers and sisters. This is the way that leads to the salvation of the human race.
For some people, today’s family is getting destroyed because the traditional ideal of the “Christian family” is gone. For others, any novelty whatsoever is progress toward a new society. But what is a family open to God’s humanizing project like? What characteristics could we highlight?
Love between spouses — This is number one. The home is alive when the parents know how to love each other, support each other, share sorrows and joys, forgive one another, dialogue and trust in each other. The family begins being dehumanized when selfishness, arguments and misunderstandings grow.
Relationship between parents and children — Love between spouses is not enough. When parents and children spend life quarreling and there is no communication at all, family life becomes impossible, joy disappears and everyone suffers. The family needs a climate of mutual trust in order to think about the welfare of each one.
Attention to the weakest — All persons need to find at home acceptance, support and understanding. But the family becomes more human above all when they care for the least with love and affection, when the elderly are respectfully and patiently loved, when the sick and the disabled are looked after with tender loving care, when no one who is going through bad times is abandoned.
Openness to the needy — A family works for a more humanized world when it does not lock itself up in its own problems and interests, but are open to the needs of other families: broken homes that live in conflict and painful situations and are in need of support and understanding; jobless families without any income and needing material help; immigrant families that are asking for welcome and friendship.
Growth in faith — In the family one learns about what is most important in life. That is why it is the best place to learn to believe in this good God who is everyone’s Father, to know Jesus’ lifestyle, to discover his Good News, to pray together around the dinner table, to take part in the life of the community of Jesus’ followers. Such Christian families contribute to the building of that more just, dignified and happy world that God wants. Such families are a blessing to society.
José Antonio Pagola
December 29, 2013
Holy Family (A)
Matthew 2, 13-15. 19-23