Pastors corner for the solemnity of the most holy family by Fr Nobert Munekani SJ
Here in the middle of the Christmas Octave, the Church bids us to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family and to reflect on the biblical vision of family. Today is the feast day of the Holy Family, but also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families. Today should be a huge family feast, since it is devoted entirely to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life. Let us consider the family and marriage along three lines: structure, struggles and strategy.
Structure: All through the readings of this Sunday’s Mass we are instructed on the basic form, the basic structure of the family. In these passages we see the family includes a father in honor over his children and a wife and mother who is supportive of her husband. The husband clings to his wife, preserving union with her and the children. He also supports, loves and encourages his wife and confirms her authority over the children. Children are to honor and obey their parents as the parents instruct and admonish their children, not in a way that badgers or discourages them, but encourages them and builds them up. Indeed, the whole family structure is ordered to helping children advance in wisdom and age and in favor before God and human beings.
Struggles: This picture is, sadly, rare. It is clear that the family is in crisis today, and it is also clear that it is children who suffer the most. The world today displays a mentality that is both deeply flawed and gravely harmful to children. This includes sins such as fornication, abortion, adultery, homosexual acts, pornography, gender based violence and the sexual abuse of children. The rebellion of many adults against the plan and order of God has caused endless grief and hardship and created a culture that is poisonous to the family, the dignity of the individual and the proper raising and blessing of children.
Strategy: What are we to do? Preach the word! Whatever the sins of this present generation are, we must be prepared to unambiguously re-propose the wisdom of God’s word. We cannot hesitate to announce God’s plan for sexuality, marriage and family. Our strategic proclamation must include certain key elements.
Children deserve and have the right to
expect two parents, a father and mother, committed to each other until death do them part.
Anything short of this is a grave injustice to children and a mortal sin before God. We must return to a vision that marriage is about what is best for children, not adults. Married couples must learn to work out their differences and not resort to divorce, which offends God (Malachi
2:16). We must restore the understanding that the needs of children far outweigh the preferences, “rights” and needs of adults.
Whatever personal failings of any of us in this present evil age (Galatians 1:4), our strategy must be to preach the undiluted plan of God for sexuality, marriage and family to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must not allow any personal shame for our shortcomings to silence what God’s word teaches because God has a holy plan for marriage and family.
For the sick
continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Benedicta Ngwebelele, Phoeb Ngwenya, and Andrew Ledwaba
Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani Su