INTRODUCTION, OVERVIEW and SETTING THE SCENE:   The word INCARNATION might not be too well-known and understood by all but the statement THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH has no doubt been heard many times. But how well is it understood? The truth is that they mean the same thing:  Jesus became man, Jesus, the Son of God, the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity, became one of us.  Why this came about has been debated and reflected on for the last 2000 years by theologians and simple family people and yet it still remains a mystery. The only real answer is GOD’S LOVE.  So we ask, why would God, the Almighty, choose to become a humble creature, and live here on earth among all that he has created?  St Francis, 800 years ago, a small man, but a giant figure, a saint for all seasons, gives us many clues in his life, his passionate love of God, his loving, devoted ministry to the poor, the marginalized and all of creation. His words and his songs of praise, attribute everything to the glory of God.  As patron saint of ecology, nature and of poverty he teaches us by his example, his life and his legacy.  So too does St Clare his beloved friend and close companion. At this time of the year we revisit the story of the Christmas crib at Greccio in 1223  when LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMASTIME.   

Pope Francis uses much of the thinking of St Francis in his ministry and in his writing to the Church and the world, in particular his recent encyclicals LAUDATO SI’ and FRATELLI TUTTI.   In LAUDATO SI’  he reminds us repeatedly to be conscious of the world around us, the harm we have caused, how climate change has resulted in violent storms, floods, droughts, loss of plant and animal species and increasing poverty.  All aspects of creation and CARE OF OUR COMMON HOME are our responsibility.  In FRATELLI TUTTI he speaks more of human relationships and of social friendship.

The 2020 MARFAM Family theme is “Our World, a Family of Families” and the December focus is “Family Hope for the Future.”  After a most unusual year of dealing with the effects of COVOD-19, we look forward with hope to a joyful celebration of Christmas, the feast of the Incarnation as we reflect on creation and on family.  MARFAM offers DAILY THOUGHTS, using a SEE-JUDGE-ACT approach,  built around Scripture, some stories about St Francis and quotations from Pope Francis.  The THOUGHTS can be used to reflect and share our own thoughts and feelings ideally at home in families.  By doing so may we too, like St Francis, grow more passionate in our love of God who, as St John the evangelist has told us, loved us first.     Toni Rowland  Copyright 2020