THEME 2: THE IDENTITY AND MISSION OF THE FAMILY

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: Matthew 19: 4-8

"Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.' They said to him, 'Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, 'For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.'"

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

The family finds in the plan of God the Creator and Redeemer not only its own identity, what it is, but also its mission, what it can and should do. The role that God calls the family to perform in history derives from what the family is; its role represents the dynamic and existential development of what it is. Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored and that specifies both its dignity and its responsibility: Family become what you are.

...the family has the mission to become more and more what it is, that is to say a community of life and love in an effort that will find fulfilment, as will everything created and redeemed, in the kingdom of God.

But if it is to achieve the full flowering of its life and mission, the married couple must practise an affectionate sharing of thought and common deliberation as well as eager cooperation as parents in their children's upbringing. The active presence of the father is very important for their training: the mother, too, has a central role in the home, for the children, especially the younger children, depend on her considerably; this role must be safeguarded without underrating women's legitimate social advancement.

Looking at it in such a way as to reach its roots, we must say that the essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church, his bride.

Every particular task of the family is an expression and concrete actuation of that fundamental mission...Thus with love as its point of departure and making constant reference to it....(these are the) four general tasks for the family:

1) Forming a community of persons;

2) Serving life;

3) Participating in the development of society;

4) Sharing in the life and mission of the Church.

(cf. Familiaris Consortio, Gaudium et Spes)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What does it mean that the family is a communion or a community of life and love?

What is the foundation of this community?

So what are the main tasks in the mission of the family? What are the specific tasks of the father and the mother?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 14 (15)

"Who shall dwell in your tent, O Lord?"

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

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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