Preaching about the importance of the nuclear family as the domestic Church is something that I have been doing in my preaching very often. The Second Vatican Council brought forward from the writings of the Church Fathers the description of the family as “the domestic Church.” In Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II speaks of the family “as a ‘Church in miniature’ (ecclesia domestica) in such a way that in its own way is a living image and historical representation of the mystery of the Church” (Familiaris Consortio, #49). In contrast, the post-modern family is totally different. In the last few decades, family dynamics have changed drastically for the bad. Millennials and Generation Z (people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s) seem to be so wired to technology, gender ideology, science and agnosticism that they cannot connect with the traditional concept of the family. The Western culture and the Church at large is facing and ongoing crisis because the christian family is under attack. Beyond conspiracy theories, it is not a secret that freemasons and evildoers have infiltrated the hierarchy of the Church. Their agenda includes the reduction of population through means of manipulation and politics aligning towards the support of contraceptives, euthanasia, abortion, same sex unions and the “climate change” discourse. The fight to defend life is against those who attempt against life. The Catholic family for excellency is pro-life. But what is our calling from the Lord facing all this challenges? We have two options: complain and be part of the problem or offering some help being part of the solution. The Holy Family Sunday readings http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122919.cfm are giving us some lessons. On one hand, the book of Sirach is telling us on how to be good children of God by taking care of our elderly. In the same way, Paul is encouraging the community of the Colossians to be heartfelt compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and to have patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Finally, the Gospel is giving us an example of obedience in Joseph and the entire Holy Family. Joseph listened to the words of an angel and act promptly by doing God’s will.
Part of my Story
I grew up in a dysfunctional family and I am still struggling with some issues dating back my upbringing. Coming from a family in which emotional abuse and alcoholism was part of my live, it was not easy for me and for my three sisters to take on the pain and the consequences of living with this kind of burden.
Likewise, It was not easy to my parents. At that moment we did not know that alcoholism was a disease. For us, it was a decision that someones take but we did not know about the implications of having an alcoholic in the family. Nobody teaches how to form a family and we bring our personal baggage into the family dynamics; all our traumas and our complexes we bring for the bad. It was a burden for my family growing up with an alcoholic father and a controlling mother. Alcoholics tend to be enabled by the rest of the family who see him/her as a victim and family become co-dependent that is part of my story. I want to bring this up because today because we celebrated Holy Family Sunday. We do not choose in what family we are born, but we choose to overcome those difficulties by seen and contemplating the image of the Holy Family.
As we continue celebrating this Christmas season, I want to encourage you to keep praying for our families. We need vocations not only for the priesthood but also to have holy families in our Church, that will resonate and bring about change in a culture that is going to nowhere because God is less and less present in people’s lives.
Here is the prayer for the Holy Family, so you can pray for your own family and all the families of our Church.
Holy Family Prayer
Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family. Graciously
inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that you found in
your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, nourish our family with
your faith and your love. Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all
our sorrows and joys.
Joseph, foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep
our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement
Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family one with you. Help us
to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace,
may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through
which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the
center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy
and at peace in our true home with you. Amen.
Also, I recommended a book in my homilies this week. Here it is the link if you want to take a look at it:
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and my best wishes for the New Year. May the Lord be with you always…
One thought on “Focusing on Family”
Thank you Fr. Juan for this post. I too come from a dysfunctional family. I was affected greatly as a little girl and am just now able to realize as an adult all that I went thru. By the grace of God and His great mercy I have overcome much but am still working. Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Thank you for all you do. May the Virgin keep you close always.
Suzanne and Nicholas