Friday, December 28, 2012

A different family

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
December 24, 2012

Luke 2: 41-52

Among Catholics, the value of the family is almost instinctively defended, but we don't always stop to consider the specific content of a family project, understood and lived according to the Gospel. What would a family inspired by Jesus be like? The family, according to him, has its origin in the mystery of the Creator who draws women and men to become "one flesh", sharing their lives in mutual self-giving, inspired by free and gratuitous love. This is the first decisive thing. This loving experience of the parents can engender a healthy family.

Following the deep calling of their love, the parents become a source of new life. It is their most passionate task. The one that can give a depth and new vista to their love. The one that can consolidate forever their creative work in the world.

Children are a gift and a responsibility. A difficult challenge and incomparable satisfaction. Jesus' actions, always defending the little ones and embracing and blessing children, suggests a basic attitude -- to care for the fragile lives of those who are beginning their journey through the world. No one will be able to offer them anything better.

A Christian family tries to live out an original experiment in the midst of the current indifferent and agnostic society -- building their home starting with Jesus. "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them." Jesus is the one who encourages, sustains and guides healthy family life.

The home then becomes a privileged space to live out the most basic experiences of Christian faith -- trust in a Good God, a friend of human beings, attraction to Jesus' lifestyle, discovering God's plan to build a more worthy, just and kind world for all. The reading of the Gospel in the family is a decisive experience for all this.

In a home where Jesus is lived out with simple faith but great passion, a family that is always welcoming grows, one that is sensitive to the suffering of the neediest, where one learns to share and commit oneself towards a more humane world. A family that isn't closed and focused on its own interests but that is open to the human family.

Many parents today are overwhelmed by various problems and too alone to face their task. Couldn't they receive more specific and efficient help from the Christian communities? It would be very good for many parents who are believers to meet, share their worries and support each other.It's not gospel-like to require heroic tasks of them and then remain aloof from their struggles and anxieties.

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