THEME 12: HOLINESS IN FAMILY LIFE

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: Matthew 6: 6 and 8; 5: 48

"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you......for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

The followers of Christ, called by God not in virtue of their works but by his design and grace, and justified in the Lord Jesus, have been made sons of God in the baptism of faith and partakers of the divine nature, and so are truly sanctified.

(This universal call to holiness is also addressed to all Christian married couples and parents. For them it becomes specific through the celebration of the sacrament of marriage and it is concretely translated into the real situations of married life and the family.) Our Saviour, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of marriage. He abides with them in order that by their mutual self-giving spouses will love each other with enduring fidelity, as he loved the Church and delivered himself for it.

By describing himself as a Bridegroom, Jesus reveals the essence of God and confirms his immense love for mankind. But the choice of this image also throws light indirectly on the profound truth of spousal love. Indeed by using this image in order to speak about God, Jesus shows to what extent the fatherhood and the love of God are reflected in the love of a man and a woman united in marriage.

Spouses, therefore, are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament; fulfilling their conjugal and family role by virtue of this sacrament, spouses are penetrated with the spirit of Christ and their whole life is suffused by faith, hope, and charity; thus they increasingly further their own perfection and their mutual sanctification, and together they render glory to God.

All married life is a gift; but this becomes most evident when the spouses, in giving themselves to each other in love, bring about that encounter which makes them one flesh (Genesis 2: 24). Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is directed and enriched by the redemptive power of Christ and the salvific action of the Church, with the result that the spouses are effectively led to God and are helped and strengthened in their lofty role as fathers and mothers. (cf., Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes, Gratissimam Sane)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What does conjugal holiness mean?

What are the fundamental elements of a holy life in the family?

How can dialogue on holiness be carried out with other families and with children?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 92 (93)

"The Lord is King, in splendour robed."

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

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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