World Meeting of Families Reflections

A Handmaid News

This is the logo for the eighth World Meeting of Families. The international gathering, inaugurated by Blessed John Paul II in 1994, will be held in late September in 2015 in Philadelphia. (CNS/courtesy of Archdiocese of Philadelphia) (Feb. 26, 2013) See FAMILIES-PHILADELPHIA Feb. 26, 2013.

We would like to join the upcoming World Meeting of Families in spirit by offering daily quotes for your prayerful reflection. We begin these quotes on September 15th, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, celebrated the day after we mark the Exultation of the Cross, our only Hope. You may wonder, why reflect on families beginning on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows?

Our Founder once said, ”The good family here on earth is only a faint image of the perfect family in the Adorable Trinity.”

Think about those qualifiers. What is a good family? What is a holy family? Could we fathom a perfect family like the Trinity? No. But God has given us human families to lead us into his Trinitarian family. One exceptional family, given to us as a model, is the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Our Mother of Sorrows at the Foot of the Cross

Our Mother of Sorrows at the Foot of the Cross

Pause to consider that in every circumstance from the Annunciation to Calvary God permitted even the sinless Virgin Mother to experience in her own family circle, questions and doubts, even suspicions of relatives. She also knew the steadfast love of a protective and watchful spouse, the trials of motherhood and child raising and educating and the hidden pangs, worries, and fears as she observed her Son leave her to attend to his Father’s mission. On the way to Calvary God asked her, a widow, to give up her Son and know deeply the grief of a parent outliving her child. We could be inclined to think that Mary’s family ended at that moment in her widowed isolation. But precisely as he was dying and leaving her, Our Lord made the great effort to formally give her to the Beloved Disciple John, who represents us. The family that seemed to be shrinking to one individual became worldwide right then. Celebrating Our Lady of Sorrows, we recall that her sorrows were also for us, to help us. Now, at this moment, Mary is OUR Mother and she will aid every family to be able to live fully alive to the joys and sorrows each day brings in union with her Son.