Saturday, December 26, 2015

What family?

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
December 27, 2015

Luke 2:41-52

Today is the Day of the Christian family. A recently established feast so that we Christians might celebrate and delve into what could be a family project understood and lived in the spirit of Jesus. It's not enough to defend the value of the family in an abstract way. Nor is it enough to imagine family life modeled after the family of Nazareth, idealized based on our concept of the traditional family. Following Jesus may sometimes require challenging and transforming schemes and customs deeply rooted in us.

The family is not something absolute and untouchable for Jesus. Moreover, what's significant isn't blood family, but that great family we humans are to go about building by heeding the wish of the one Father of all. Even his parents will have to learn, not without problems and conflicts.

According to Luke's account, Jesus' parents, distressed, look for him to find that he has abandoned them without worrying about them. How can he act like that? His mother reproaches him when she finds him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." Jesus surprises them with an unexpected response: "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

His parents "didn't understand him." Only by delving into his words and behavior towards his family, do they gradually discover that, for Jesus, the first thing is the human family -- a more fraternal, just and united society, as God wants.

We can't celebrate today's feast responsibly without listening to the challenge of our faith.

How are our families? Are they committed to a better and more humane society, or exclusively locked into their own interests? Do they teach solidarity, peaceseeking, sensitivity to the needy, and compassion or do they teach living for insatiable affluence, maximum profits, and the neglect of others?

What is happening in our homes? Is faith being nurtured and Jesus Christ remembered? Are we learning to pray or are we spreading indifference, unbelief, and a God void? Are we teaching to live based on a healthy responsible moral conscience consistent with the Christian faith, or do we favor a superficial lifestyle, without goals or ideals, without criteria or any ultimate meaning?

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