Pope: the Christian family, place and witness of mercy
In a letter ahead of the world meeting of families in 2018, Francis expresses "the desire that families have the opportunity to deepen their reflection of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The family continues to be "good news for the world of today" and Christian families are "places of mercy compassion and witnesses" writes Pope Francis in his letter to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Congregation for the laity, family and life, in preparation for the IX World Meeting of Families, to be held August 21 to 26, 2018 Dublin on The Gospel of Family: joy to the world.
In the document Francis, giving some indications, expresses his “wish for families to have a way of deepening their reflection and their sharing of the content of the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia”. “One might ask: does the Gospel continue to be a joy for the world? And also: does the family continue to be good news for today’s world? I am sure the answer is yes! And this “yes” is firmly based on God’s plan. The love of God is His “yes” to all creation and at the heart of this latter is man. It is God’s “yes” to the union between man and woman, in openness and service to life in all its phases; it is God’s “yes” and His commitment to a humanity that is often wounded, mistreated and dominated by a lack of love. The family, therefore, is the “yes” of God as Love. Only starting from love can the family manifest, spread and regenerate God’s love in the world. Without love, we cannot live as children of God, as couples, parents and brothers”.
The Pope underlines “how important it is for families to ask themselves often if they live based on love, for love and in love. In practice, this means giving oneself, forgiving, not losing patience, anticipating the other, respecting. How much better family life would be if every day we lived according to the words, “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry”. Every day we have the experience of fragility and weakness, and therefore we all, families and pastors, are in need of renewed humility that forms the desire to form ourselves, to educate and be educated, to help and be helped, to accompany, discern and integrate all men of good will. I dream of an outbound Church, not a self-referential one, a Church that does not pass by far from man’s wounds, a merciful Church that proclaims the heart of the revelation of God as Love, which is Mercy. It is this very mercy that makes us new in love; and we know how much Christian families are a place of mercy and witnesses of mercy, and even more so after the extraordinary Jubilee. The Dublin meeting will be able to offer concrete signs of this”.
He concludes : “I therefore invite all the Church to keep these indications in mind in the pastoral preparation for the next World Meeting. You, dear Brother, along with your collaborators, have the task of translating in a special way the teaching of Amoris Laetitia, with which the Church wishes families always to be in step, in that inner pilgrimage that is the manifestation of authentic life”.