“Family is the most important thing in the world.” ~ Diana, Princess of Wales
This is always a touchy subject because, as important as we say families are, we know that there are families that do not get along very well, if at all. Families, for some, can be a source of great comfort and support. For other people, families are a source of stress and a lack of support.
That is not how God made or envisioned “family”. In the story of our creation, God made us male and female. He made us for one another. He made us to be fertile and occupy the earth and to act as its stewards. Shortly into that, sin entered the world and with it death and destruction.
Family, which once was a source of blessing, turned against one another as we heard in the story of Cain and Abel. This turn of events was not a part of God’s plan but a product of sin. The sin that is a part of the world still acts upon God’s people and attempts to turn God’s people away from Him.
That is the reality of the world. That is what causes friction among family and friends. The sin that reigns in this world is the source of conflict, hatred, and separation. However, it does not need to be.
We can say no to the invitation of sin. We can say no to the temptation to turn away from others. We can say no to the anger that may well between spouse, sibling, relative, or friend. We can say no because we have the Lord in our lives who not only calls us to love and unity but who also gives us the Holy Spirit to live in love and unity.
There are times that, as human beings, we give up and quit trying. We might say that our families are “impossible” and that we cannot talk to one another. When was the last time we tried? Why did we give up? Are we willing to try again? Unity and peace only come when both sides want it and when both sides work for it.
We are not only a group of families, we also live in a parish family. We, too, can be as functional or dysfunctional as we allow. We can either work together to bring about a piece of the Kingdom in our world or work against one another because we do not agree on how to pray, whom to serve, and the like.
God calls us to be family — biological, parish, or social. It is not always easy to do. But, if we allow God to help us, He will give us all the grace that we need to live in harmony with one another thus giving Him honor and praise.
FAITH ACTION: Say a prayer of blessing for your family members and pray, as well, for all families who might experience dysfunction.