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Family: God’s Beautiful Creation

James H. Kroeger, M.M.
LIVING MISSION
“Year of Eucharist and Family” Reflections

 

Fr. James H. KroegerDuring the 2015 Festival of Families in Philadelphia, Pope Francis spoke of beauty and families. “All that is beautiful brings us to God, because God is good, God is beautiful, God is the truth…. It is worthwhile to live as a family; a society grows strong, grows in goodness, grows in beauty, and truly grows if it is built on the foundation of the family.”

“The most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family. He created man and woman, and He gave them everything…. All of the love that God has in Himself, He gives to the family. And a family is truly a family when it is able to open its arms and receive all of this love.”
“Once, a boy asked me—you know that children ask hard questions—he asked me, ‘Father, what did God do before he created the world?’ I can tell you that it was hard for me to come up with an answer. I told him what I’m saying now to you. Before creating the world, God loved, because God is love There was so much love…. He presented to the family all of the love that He made in this marvelous creation.”

Continuing his catechesis, Pope Francis noted how “when the man and his wife [Adam and Eve] made the mistake and distanced themselves from God, God did not leave them alone. There was so much love…. He began to walk with His people, until the fullness of time arrived, and He gave the greatest sign of His love, His Son.”

“And His Son, where did he send Him? To a palace? To a city, to start a business? He sent Him to a family! God came into the world in a family. And, He was able to do this, because this family was a family that had its heart open to love, that had the doors open to love.”

“Let’s think of Mary, this young woman. She couldn’t believe it: ‘How can this be?’ And when it was explained to her, she obeyed. Let’s think of Joseph, full of dreams to form a household. He finds himself with this surprise that he doesn’t understand. He accepts. And, in the obedience of love of this woman, Mary, and of this man, Joseph, a family is created into which God comes.”

Pope Francis asserted: “God always knocks at the door of hearts. He likes to do this. It comes from His heart. But, do you know what he likes best? To knock on the doors of families and find families that are united, to find families that love each other, to find families that bring up their children and educate them and help them to keep going forward and create a society of goodness, of truth, and of beauty.”

“Surely, one of you could say to me, ‘Father, you speak this way because you are single.’ In families there are difficulties. In families, we argue; in families, sometimes the plates fly; in families, there is always, always the cross. Always…. But, in families as well, after the cross, there is the resurrection.” The cross always opens unto resurrection!

Pope Francis noted: “I would like to stress two points regarding the family which I would like you to pay special attention to: … the children and the grandparents. Children and young people are the future; they are the strength, those who take us forward. They are the ones in whom we place our hope. Grandparents are the memory of the family; they are the ones who gave us the faith, transmitted to us the faith.”

The Pope concluded saying: “The family is beautiful, but it is costly…. I advise one thing: Never end the day without making peace in the family. In a family, a day cannot end at war…. Defend the family!”

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