Families, Let Us Share The Joy of Knowing Christ! —Message on the occasion of the National Week for Life and the Family (May 11-18, 2014)

Monday, 28 April 2014
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Once again, we are privileged to have an opportunity to think more deeply about the inestimable value of human life and the role that the family plays in upholding and communicating that value. As our Holy Father recently observed: “The family is the place where we learn to love . . . the motor [that drives] the world and history.” It is in the family that we first experience the love that inspires us to live for others and the joy that accompanies such living. As the Scriptures say: “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:20). Jesus Christ—the “man for others”—is both the model and the source of human love and of human joy! Let us embrace his example and his love.

We all know too well that no family is perfect. Nevertheless, “family” —says Pope Francis— “is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children” (Evangelii Gaudium, 66). Today more than ever, mothers and fathers need to be encouraged and sustained as they strive to embrace their God-given roles. Let us recall with renewed hope that our families, however imperfect they may be, are the leaven that is destined to transform this world of ours – a world so desperately in need of the love of Jesus Christ.

Let this year’s Week for Life and the Family – an initiative of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada – be an opportunity to celebrate the joys of our family life and to consider what we might do to address the needs of families less fortunate than our own. Let us ask ourselves what we can do to create a more loving world, knowing that it is in forgetting ourselves that we will find ourselves.

As families, during this National Week for Life and the Family, with expectation let us turn our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ, the Truth, who is love incarnate. With him all things are possible.