the Jubilee be a period for every Christian family in which bonds of affection
are strengthened and broken families reunited
"The Jubilee ... will be a favourable time to strengthen the bonds of
affection in every family and to bring broken families together again", the
Holy Father said at the General Audience of Wednesday, 29 December 1999. In his
talk, the Pope stressed the importance of the loving communion between husband
and wife and between parents and children, of unfailing fidelity and openness to
the gift of life, so that families may become ever more aware of their
"important mission in the Church and in the world". Here is a
translation of the Pope's catechesis, which was given in Italian.
1. Last Sunday the liturgy held up to us the Holy Family of Nazareth, the
model for every family that lets itself be guided by God's surprising action.
The Western, world considers Christmas a family celebration. Being together
and exchanging gifts emphasizes the strong desire for reciprocal communion and
sheds fight on the highest values of the family institution. This is shown by
the communion of love between persons based on truth, on love, on the
indissoluble fidelity of husband and wife and on openness to the gift of life.
In the fight of Christmas, the family sees its vocation as a community of shared
plans, solidarity, forgiveness and faith, where individuals do not lose their
identity, but contribute with their own specific gifts to the growth of all.
This is what occurred in the Holy Family, presented by faith as the first model
for families enlightened by Christ.
Jubilee will be time to bring broken families together
2. Let us pray that the Great Jubilee, which has just begun, will truly be an
occasion of grace and redemption for all the families of the world. May the
light of the Incarnation of the Word help them better to understand and five
their original vocation, the plan that the God .of He has for them, so that they
may become living images of his love.
The Jubilee will thus give every family the opportunity for a time of
conversion and mutual forgiveness. It will be a favourable period for
strengthening the bonds of affection in every family and for bringing broken
families together again. May every Christian family become more and more aware
of its important mission in the Church and in the world! Today all families need
special care, particularly the poorest and less tranquil; they need to be
encouraged to welcome newborn life, because every child that comes into the
world is a gift and a hope for all.
3. In our time, when "as much as and perhaps more than any other
institution, the family has been beset by the many profound and rapid changes
that have affected society and culture", it is important that believers
energetically reaffirm that "marriage and the family constitute one of the
most precious of human values". For this reason the Church never tires of
offering "her services to every person who wonders about the destiny of
marriage and the family" (Familiaris consortio, n. 1).
Jubilee will give every family an opportunity for conversion
May the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 be an opportunity for all families to
open their doors courageously to Christ, the one Redeemer of humanity. Indeed,
it is Christ who is the newness surpassing all human expectations, the true
criterion for evaluating all that happens in time and every effort to make life
more human (cf Incarnationis mysterium, n. 1).
With this knowledge, let us enter the House of Nazareth in spirit and ask the
Holy Family to protect and bless the families of the world, so that they will be
a "school for human enrichment" (Gaudium et spes, n, 52).
To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors the Holy Father said:
I warmly greet the many English-speaking pilgrims and visitors at today's
audience. I pray that Jesus, Mary and Joseph will be present in a special way in
your families at this time, and that the Great Jubilee will be for all of you a
joyful occasion of conversion and union with the Lord.