« Nous appartenons à deux familles. Notre propre famille particulière et la famille spirituelle de l’ Eglise , nous appartenons aux deux en même temps …Pour les deux nous sommes appelés à l’amour .. ». Cardinal Orwald Gracias Archevêque de Mumbai Inde
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L homelie de Mgr Oswald Gracias , archevêque de Bombay Inde
In his homily during Wednesday’s Family Arena Mass, His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India brought the congregation back to the very origins of Catholic theology and salvation history.
Speaking on the feast of the Queenship of Mary, he reminded them of how they all belonged to “one big family; the family of faith founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ.” This, he said, found its very foundation at the Annunciation when “Mary received the Word of God in her heart and in her body she brought life to the Word. Becoming the mother of the King of Kings she became the Queen of all earth and heaven.” In so doing, “Mary’s yes was the beginning of the family of Nazareth – the ideal to which all of us look this afternoon.”
Speaking to the large crowd, Cardinal Gracias reminded the faithful that the Church itself was formed from and within the family of Nazareth and that it should be the model for both our spiritual and temporal families. He suggested we should consider inviting Our Lady to become Queen of our Homes and ask her to be our “model, our protector and our guide.”
In what was a truly internation al Mass, with readings and prayers in French, Spanish, Russian and Irish, he referred the people again to the First Reading from Isaiah. The Holy Family stood, he said, as a “bright, dazzling” beacon of light on the horizon “in the midst of the great assaults on family values and the institution of family” worldwide.
Two families: One Mission
“We belong to two families,” the Cardinal said, “our own particular family in the home and the spiritual family of the Church; to both we belong; for both we are called into love.”
Quoting from Amoris Laetitia he said that Pope Francis says “‘The Church is the Family of Families; for the family needs the Church and the Church needs the Family’”
“If the mission of the Church is to become a family, conversely the mission of the family is to become more and more the Church,” the Indian Cardinal said.
The Mission of each one of us is to go back to our Churches and see what can be done to make our parishes a true family of faith; “this is our mission; this is our calling, this is our apostolate,” he said.
“The true primary aim of the family are mutual love and fruitfulness. And those same two qualities are needed to build the Church today. Strong bonds of love and unity, fruitfulness in society and in transforming society.
“In recent times the Church has indeed had many challenges. But the Church is you and I: We are the Church. We need to make the Church what Jesus intended it to be – a replica of the Holy Family of Nazareth,” he told scores of attending clerics and laity.
“Today’s worship, today’s Eucharist is especially for our domestic church – the family. If the Church is to be revitalised, this has to begin with the family. I am totally convinced after many years in ministry … that the family apostolate is the most important: All else is secondary. Family life must be renewed if the diocese is to be renewed, if the parish is to be renewed, if the Church is to be renewed.”
Peace in the world starts with peace in the family
Referring to a conversation that he once had with former president of India, Abdul Kalam, he quoted his take on the issue. “If you want to have peace in the world,”he said, “you need to have peace among nations; if you want to have peace among nations, you need to have peace among peoples, if you want to have peace among peoples, you need to have peace in the families. So if you want to have peace in the world, it begins in the family.”
Essential Elements for both families
For Cardinal Gracias the single most important element in families is communication.
“How many families are deprived of happiness because of lack of in-depth, honest, sincere communication?” he asked: “Communication between spouses, communication of parents with children; of children with parents.”
Cardinal Gracias invited those present to reflect during the meeting of families upon how both our Churches and our families could become more like the Holy Family of Nazareth.
“The essential elements in the Church have to be love,” the Cardinal also said. “In the Church there is a continuous presence of God; is it so in our families? In the Church the word of God is enthroned, it is proclaimed, reflected upon and sought to be lived in all activities; is it so in our families? In the Church we have regular prayer; is it so in our families? In the Church we develop our spirituality; is it so in our families?
In conclusion he reminded us, “Families of the world we love you; families of the world we appreciate you. Families of the world, we want to help you and we want you to help us – help us to help you.”
23 August 2018
REVEREND DR MICHAEL JACKSON, ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN AND BISHOP OF GLENDALOUGH