“On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.” (MT 13: 1-2)
Our Lord spent 30 years with Mary and St. Joseph; He knows perfectly how important are our houses, our family lives and our relationships. He knows also that we need to go “out of the house” to share with others the Good News about marriage and family; like our coach couples who dedicate their time to serve others and need to go “out of the house” to help and to support.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation
“Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (MT 12: 49-50)
Family shares theirs believes, traditions, values and virtues. Family has their code of arms, shared from generation to generation. We are Gods children, we belong to His household and what make us different is “do the will of our heavenly Father.” Like our children to our will and follow our examples. When we show our children how much we respect God in our daily lives, they will follow our example naturally.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and then reported what he told her.” (JN 20: 18)
Our Lord loves us and always speaks to us. He wants from us to share with others His messages; like homilies are a way priests want to share with others what they have learned from Our Lord. Spouses can share with each other, parents with children, children with parents and friends with friends.
“Tell us Mary, what did you see on the way? I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (LK 10: 41-42)
We are very active. We have so many things to do: our work, our family, our friends, our relatives, our Church and many different social responsibilities. Sometimes we are busy being busy because we are running from things to things, living more in “chronos” than in “cairos.” Our Lord asks us today to remember that our actions should be based on our relationships. When we take care of our relationship as a very important priority—like our rituals—our actions will be consistent with who we are.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“At the end of four hundred and thirty years, all the hosts of the LORD left the land of Egypt on this very date.” (EX 12: 41)
Who can keep events in their calendars for “four hundred and thirty years?” Who can plan a history in such a detailed way? When we have some unexpected changes in our plans or when we can’t see why something happened to us, it is good to remember that Our Lord is a Lord, Who created us and everything depends on Him. And He is Love, so He protects, He takes care, and He knows better why it happened and what amazing plan He prepared for us.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men.” (MT 12: 7)
This is the most important element of our Program—to be a gift of self, not a demander. Givers of selves are merciful because their gift is not a reward for good behavior or a pay back for the good they received, but always a free, creative and joyful expression of their love; true love is always merciful, not a result of huge sacrifice.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord, I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (MT 11: 28)
We have our moments of “labor and [being] burdened.” We bring them to our homes, to our spouses, sometimes to our parents, siblings or friends; it helps when we are understood and comforted. But when we bring it to Our Lord, He “will give you rest.”
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“God said, “Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’” (EX 3: 5)
When St. John Paul II spoke to married couples in 1987 in my hometown Szczecin, he used this fragment from the Bible to explain the role of home: “for the place where you stand is holy ground,” and the Pope said that the family is not only “holy ground” but is also “sanctifying ground.” How often we reduce our homes to places to rest and our offices as places to grow; if we can make our homes places of respect and of our personal career as a best husband and wife, our offices and our jobs will receive better persons– happier, more creative and more joyful. No business ever lost with a happy worker, and you can’t say this about a person in the process of divorce or separation or in crises. I hope that this is clear not only to “the little ones.”
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.’” (MT 20: 20-21)
We are not islands, luckily separated from others, safe in our gated areas, with our children in exclusive schools. We are separated because we want to be really focused on formation and the mission of how to spread with others the “mighty deeds [that] had been done” for us. Our love is not only for us and for our children; it is a gift to this world, to make it more family oriented and more in relationship. We receive a lot from Our Lord, and we should listen carefully when He calls us to serve others.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (MT 10: 40)
This is unbelievable how much dignity Our Lord gave to our service: “Whoever receives you receives me.” We understand better that all our “successes” are based on His presence rather than our qualifications, which can probably remove the stress coming from a huge responsibility. He loves us and people we served, and He will do everything to make our lives better because we also love Him.
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)