June 26th 13th Sunday C. World Meeting of Families closing. Theme: Family a Path to Holiness. At the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families each of the bishops with their teams gathered to take stock. “What has been your most powerful experience,” they were asked. Bishop Joe smiled into his beard and said, “what it means to be a holy family. I have often meditated on the Holy Family of Nazareth in a general sort of way, but while we have been here I looked around and listened and thought about the Holy Family and realized they were not exactly typical or ideal and yet they are our model of holiness. There are many families in my diocese that are not your ideal married couple with half a dozen children all busily involved in parish life. Those may well be holy too, but I think of one young mother not in good health and abandoned by her husband but devoted to her two little boys who are really such kind little chaps. Holy means wholesome and yet there are cases too where there is woundedness because of a child going off the rails. I wonder, maybe holiness can be partial too, and not have to include everyone.”
Reflect, share and act. Scripture. A man said, “ I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another Jesus said, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:51-62 Pope Francis: The Lord’s presence dwells in real and concrete families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes. The spirituality of family love is made up of thousands of small but real gestures. AL 315. Those who have deep spiritual aspirations should not feel that the family detracts from their growth in the life of the Spirit, but rather see it as a path which the Lord is using to lead them to the heights of mystical union. AL 316.
THE FINAL BLESSING and MANDATE from WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES 2022
We praise and bless you, O Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
Grant to us that through your Son Jesus Christ, born of a woman by the power of the Holy Spirit,
that every family may become a true sanctuary of life and love for the generations that are ever renewed.
Let your Spirit direct the thoughts and works of husbands and wives toward the good of their families
and of all the families of the world.
Grant that in the domestic community children may find strong support for their human and Christian growth.
Let love, consecrated by the bond of marriage prove stronger than every weakness and every crisis.
Grant that Your Church fulfill her mission for the family and with the family in all the nations of the earth.
For Christ our Lord. Amen.
MANDATE: From Pope Francis at the concluding service. “ What the Lord has given to each family, at the conclusion of these days, I say ‘what I have given to you, now go and give it to others.’”
Although she constantly holds up the call to perfection and asks for a fuller response to God, “the Church must accompany with attention and care the weakest of her children, who show signs of a wounded and troubled love, by restoring in them hope and confidence, like the beacon of a lighthouse in a port or a torch carried among the people to enlighten those who have lost their way or who are in the midst of a storm. AL 291