“As the family goes, so goes the nation.”St. John Paul II
St. John Paul II made this declaration in 1986 as he was speaking in Perth, Australia. His original statement, truncated above, adds “and so goes the whole world in which we live.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) once also famously said “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Great minds think alike!
The Family is the true foundational building block of society, and a building is only as good as its foundation. Our thriving or declining as individuals, as a nation, as a human race, depends largely on the health of our families.
God made us this way. Being made “in the image and likeness of God” as Genesis states means that we are made in the image and likeness of a divine communion of persons. Yes, God is one substance, one “what,” but He is also three persons, three “whos”. The very stuff of God is relationship, relationships of self-giving love. Outpouring. This is why it was not good for Adam to be alone…in the deepest recesses of his identity, he was made for relationship with someone like him, and Eve was created for relationship with someone like her. God made them for one another, so that in their mutual total self-giving to one another, they would mirror and experience the love they were created for. The Family is sacred to the Lord, so much so that when the Word became Flesh in Jesus Christ, He did so through a humble, simple family.
This weekend, we celebrate the Octave Day of the Christmas feast, which has long been dedicated to the honor of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Recalling the mess that Our Lord was born into, we should take great consolation: to be a “holy family” does not mean that our families are without struggle! It is precisely how we handle the struggles, the failures, the wounds of the past, the brokenness, that determine the holiness of our families—trusting in the Lord, reconciling, persevering, fidelity, praying, putting the Lord first. We desperately need such holy families!
If a nation or the whole human race depends on healthy families, how much more is it true of a parish! I pray for all our families at All Saints; may the Lord strengthen us, heal us, inspire us. Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us! St. John Paul II and Mother Teresa, Defenders of the Family, pray for us!
Peace in Christ,