A Blessed and Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa to all Families. Through Faith in Christ and rooted in our life as Family God enters in and calls us to be family united in faith and in love.
As we celebrate the Holy Family we see a model and testimony to life lived together that is the place that shapes us, nourishes us and ultimately forms us to be who we are as God’s people. The Family is where our journey in faith begins. Our religious faith guides us in the formation of our families, and that families is where religious faith is born and nurtured. Faith and family stand or fall together like love and marriage. Faith and family – an inseparable pair is what binds us together.
I think we have to acknowledge, family is not the primary symbol for the faith community of the church. We like to talk about “the church family”, and that image is a good expression of the warmth and loving care and acceptance that abounds throughout the church. But the church is so much more than the “family of Christ” as we are the BODY of Christ. The church is not composed of ever descending generations of persons farther and farther removed from the founder: we are the living embodiment of a living Lord. As Paul wrote, we are many members, diverse members, members performing differing functions, but we are one organic whole, one entity, one body.Faith is about the courage to act, to act within our families, and the courage to act ON BEHALF of our families. Faith empowers us to work within our families to resist the messages of crass materialism, and to raise up boys and girls and men and women who dare to live by love, not hate, and who are motivated by the common good over selfish greed. Faith gives us the tools – to use the imagery of Ephesians, the armor for doing battle with the powers of darkness. Faith is the motivating power for shaping families by the values of God.