We are told that in the beginning God created all things, including human beings, man and woman, the first family.
Why? Well the pages of the Bible unfold to us the greatest love story ever told; God who is none other than love itself, lavishes his life and love on us, his creation.
Even when we turned away and rejected that love, he still walked with us, and eventually sent his son, born into a human family, so that we could grasp what his love really means.
The love of God is no longer a notion, an idea the love of God is made viable in Christ Jesus: a person.
And he was born into a family.
Not a perfect family, but the Holy Family.
From the beginning there were problems and difficulites.
Not even for the Holy Family was everything plain sailing.
Listen to what Pope Francis said at the Prayer Vigil for the Festival of Families in Philadelphia last year:
“Certainly, in the family there are difficutlies. But in families also, the cross is followed by resurrection, because there too the Son of God leads us.
“So the family is as workshop of hope, of the hope of life, since God was the one who opened this path.”
In that same Prayer Vigil, Pope Francis suggested that we should focus our thoughts especially on children and young people as our future:
“They are our stregth; they are what keeps us moving forward.
“They are the ones in whom we put our hope.”
And of grandparents, he said they are our memory: “They are the ones who gave us faith; they passed the faith onto us.”
Recognising that families are not perfect and that there will be problems and tensions, the Hoy Father offered some advice.
He said: “Never end the day without making peace in the family. In the family the day cannot end in fighting.”
And so I pray for us all:
We humbly ask you, O Lord, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and Saint Joseph, you may establish our families firmly in your grace and your peace.