TEMPORAL FAMILY TO ETERNAL FAMILY

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella

The term “Family” has many analogues. There is “Family” found in the grouping “Americans as simply Citizens;” and “Americans as Patriotic Citizens.” There are other such designations, as the American secular Family; and the American religious Family -- all of which have their own distinctive characteristics.

The Patriotic family identify with and adhere to the spirit of the Judeo-Christian Philosophy as touched upon in the writings of this country’s Founding Fathers; and especially evidenced in this country’s Constitution, whose reality and continuance to this day came about through over 175 years of sacrifice by patriotic men and women, -- all of which is symbolized in the American Flag. This is in stark contrast to those American citizens who enjoy this country’s benefits that are the envy of the world, but show disdain for the flag and deny any identity, gratitude or reverence for the origins of our American History, or its historical monuments -- many of which attest to how this country has overcome its social imperfections.

As Catholics, we have an even deeper benefit since, besides being in this temporal family of American Patriots, we are also sharing by our Baptism in a yet more awesome family -- the eternal family of God as witnessed by the Holy Family whose feast we will celebrate at Sunday’s Mass. The eternal meaning of “Family” is found in the revelation of the Divine Trinity -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- manifested to the world in Christ’s command to the Apostles: “Go to the world…baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.” Through our Baptism in the death and resurrection of Christ , God   reveals to us: “the Spirit of Christ is in you so that you can call God Father,” -- and thus become the adopted children of God in the Family of God…” -- whereby we share in the Mystery of the inner life of God’s life -- as further revealed in the words of St. Paul: “I live, now not I, but  (* the Divine Life of) Christ lives in me.”

While all families of the world end at the grave, those in the Family of God share in the eternally glorified risen life of the Son of God. Recall the words of Jesus: “I go away to prepare a place for you. Then I will come back again and take you to myself so that where I am, you also may be” (John 14: 2). For “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son so that all who believe in him would not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

 

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