God’s magnificent plan for the family

Photo Credit: SR. NANCY MUNRO, CSJ/ST. MONICA CHURCH, SANTA MONICA

As the summer winds down and we move into fall, we need to turn our prayers and reflection to the meeting of the world’s bishops that Pope Francis has called for October 5-19 in Rome.

The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will discuss the theme of “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.”

Strengthening families and restoring the family as the natural center of society is a top priority of our Holy Father. The upcoming “extraordinary” synod will be followed in 2015 by an “ordinary” synod on the family and a World Meeting of Families, to be held in Philadelphia.

Family is the essential foundation for each of our lives.

Family is where we learn our name and where our personalities and values are formed. It is where we learn how to pray and how to share our thoughts and emotions. It is where we learn how to give love and receive love and how to make sacrifices and live with our differences. Family is where the young and the old know their dignity and worth and where they share their lives and take care of each other, especially in times of weakness and vulnerability.

The family is also the foundation that every society is made from and the natural bond that holds every society together. And family is the natural form of the Church, in which we discover our identity as children of God and brothers and sisters to one another.

Yet we know that families face many challenges today. Many are struggling. Many are burdened by poverty, violence, sickness and other difficulties. Many families are hurting and broken.

As Pope Francis has said, in our times, “the family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis.

There is widespread confusion over the meaning of marriage and family and our obligations to children in our society. Our society’s growing secularism and emphasis on individualism and a consumer lifestyle are making it harder for people to make commitments and form lasting relationships. More and more in our culture, family is not valued or is taken for granted.

So this Synod is important. We need to pray for the bishops and our Holy Father as they prepare to consider the great question of the family in our time. And I encourage you to join me in making this time leading up to the Synod, a time of prayer and reflection.

In this spirit, I will be devoting my next several columns in the Tidings and Angelusnews.com to this theme of the family and marriage.

We need to think not only about the challenges we face. Those challenges are real and we must confront them. But the key to true renewal is for us to rediscover the natural beauty and joyful simplicity of marriage and family in God’s plan for our lives and our society.

So in this first column I want to highlight what our Holy Father has called God’s “magnificent plan for the family.”

We see this plan unfolding in the pages of the Scriptures.

In the first pages of the Bible’s first book, Genesis, we read about the marriage of Adam and Eve when the world was created. In the last pages of the Bible’s last book, Revelation, we read about the “new heavens and new earth” and the “wedding feast” of Jesus Christ and his Church.

The Old Testament is a family story — the story of the children of Abraham who are the people of God, Israel. And that story continues with the birth of God’s only Son by the power of his Spirit into a family.

Jesus was born from a mother’s womb and nurtured and raised in a holy family with his mother Mary and Joseph her spouse. He performed his first “sign” at a wedding in Cana. As the prophets had promised, he came calling himself the Bridegroom and he called the Church his Bride.

Jesus gave his Church the mission of completing God’s family plan for history — by proclaiming the good news that God is our Father and inviting men and women of all nations to live as one family of God in his Church.

This week, let’s start praying for the important work of the upcoming Synod. Let’s join our Holy Father in praying his Prayer for the Synod on the Family in our parishes and ministries and in our homes:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

in you we contemplate

the splendor of true love,

to you we turn with trust.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

grant that our families too

may be places of communion and prayer,

authentic schools of the Gospel

and small domestic Churches.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may families never again 

experience violence, rejection and division:

may all who have been hurt or scandalized

find ready comfort and healing.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may the approaching Synod of Bishops

make us once more mindful

of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,

and its beauty in God’s plan.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

graciously hear our prayer!

Amen.

 

Archbishop Gomez’s CPA Award-winning book, “Immigration and the Next America,”is available at the Cathedral Gift Shop (www.olacathedralgifts.com/immigrationandthenextamericarenewingthesoulofournation.aspx). Follow him at www.facebook.com/ArchbishopGomez.


Voices

Statement on the announcement of presidential executive orders on immigration

Archbishop José H. Gomez

I am happy that some temporary relief is being offered to help parents and children who right now are living in daily fear that their families will be broken up by arrests and deportations. But the President’s actions today are no substitute for the comprehensive immigration reform our nation needs.

Together in Mission 300x250

Events

November 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

November 26, 2014

  • No events found.
The Tidings - Home Delivery 300x100

Get our news by email

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land
Bob Smith BMW 300x250
Bob Smith Toyota 300x250
Bob Smith Mini 300x250