THEME 10: THE FAMILY, THE FIRST LIVING CELL OF SOCIETY

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: Mark 3: 20-25

"Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his friends heard it, they went out to seize him, for they said, 'He is beside himself.' And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He is possessed by Be-el-zebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out demons.' And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, 'How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.'"

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church

The family has always been considered as the first and basic expression of man's social nature. (It is the primary and original society, preceding all other natural societies.)

The family has vital and organic links with society since it is its foundation and nourishes it continually through its role of service to life. It is from the family that citizens come to birth and it is within the family that they find the first school of the social virtues that are the animating principle of the existence and development of society itself.

The very experience of communion and sharing that should characterize the family's daily life represents its first and fundamental contribution to society. The relationships between the members of the family are inspired and guided by the law of "free giving". By respecting and fostering personal dignity in each and every one as the only basis for value, this free giving takes the form of heartfelt acceptance, encounter and dialogue, disinterested availability, generous service and deep solidarity.

Thus the fostering of authentic and mature communion between persons within the family is the first and irreplaceable school of social life, and example and stimulus for the broader community of relationships marked by respect, justice dialogue and love.

The family is thus...the place of origin and the most effective means for humanizing and personalizing society. It makes an original contribution in depth to building up the world by making possible a life that is properly speaking human, in particular by guarding and transmitting virtues and "values". In the family, the various generations come together and help one another to grow wiser and to harmonize personal rights with the other requirements of social living.

Consequently, faced with a society that is running the risk of becoming more and more depersonalized and standardized and therefore inhuman and dehumanizing, with the negative results of many forms of escapism - such as alcoholism, drugs and even terrorism - the family possesses and continues still to release formidable energies capable of taking man out of his anonymity, keeping him conscious of his personal dignity, enriching him with deep humanity and actively placing him, in his uniqueness and unrepeatability, within the fabric of society.

Civil authority should consider it a sacred duty to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality and promote domestic prosperity. (cf. Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio, Gratissimam Sane)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What is the primary and fundamental social mission of parents?

How can a true formation of children be promoted in the home?

Why does the family have the right to be helped and sustained by society?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 127 (128)

"Blessed are you who fear the Lord"

9. Hail Mary....Queen of the Family: Pray for us.

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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