THEME 11: THE DOMESTIC CHURCH: FRUIT OF EVANGELIZATION, SERVING EVANGELIZATION

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: Mark 16: 14-16

"Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned'."

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

Among the fundamental tasks of the Christian family is its ecclesial task. The Family is placed at the service of the building up of the kingdom of God in history by participating in the life and mission of the Church. The marriage of baptized persons thus becomes a real symbol of that new and eternal covenant sanctioned in the blood of Christ.

In order to understand better the foundations, the contents and the characteristics of this participation, we must examine the many profound bonds linking the Church and the Christian family and establishing the family as a "church in miniature" (ecclesia domestica) (Lumen Gentium, 11), in such a way that in its own way the family is a living image and historical representation of the mystery of the Church.

It is above all, the Church as mother that gives birth to, educates and builds up the Christian family... By proclaiming the word of God the Church reveals to the Christian family its true identity, what it is and should be according to the Lord's plan; by celebrating the sacraments the Church enriches and strengthens the Christian family with the grace of Christ...by the continuous proclamation of the new commandment of love the Church encourages and guides the Christian family to the service of love so that it may imitate and relive the same self-giving that the Lord Jesus has for the entire human race.

In turn, the Christian family is grafted into the mystery of the Church to such a degree as to become a sharer, in its own way, in the saving mission proper to the Church. By virtue of the sacrament Christian married couples and parents "in their state and way of life have their own special gift among the people of God" (Lumen Gentium, 11). For this reason they not only receive the love of Christ and become a saved community, but they are also called upon to communicate Christ's love to their brethren thus becoming a saving community.

The Christian family...(places) itself in what it is and what it does as an intimate community of life and love at the service of the Church and of society. The spouses together as a couple, the parents and children as a family, must live their service to the Church and to the world. The Christian family also builds up the kingdom of God in history through the everyday realities that concern and distinguish its state of life.

The Second Vatican Council recalls this fact when it writes: "...the Christian family, which springs from marriage as a reflection of the loving covenant uniting Christ with the Church, and as a participation in that covenant, will manifest to all people the Saviour's living presence in the world and the genuine nature of the Church. This the family will do by the mutual love of the spouses, by their generous fruitfulness, their solidarity and faithfulness, and by the loving way in which all the members of the family work together". (Gaudium et Spes, 48) (cf. Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What is the family's main task for the Church?

How can the mission of parents as the first evangelizers be carried out?

The family is a "domestic church": what does this mean?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 110 (111)

"I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart."

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

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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