Sunday’s feast of the Holy Family, said Pope Francis at the weekly Angelus, calls us to reflect “on the fact that the Son of God wanted to be in need of the warmth of a family, like all children.” This is why the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph can serve as a model “in which all families of the world can find their sure point of reference and sure inspiration.
A key note of the life of the family of Nazareth was joy, with the Child Jesus “surrounded by the maternal affection of Mary and the care of Joseph, in whom Jesus was able to see God’s tenderness.”
We too, said Pope Francis, “are called to rediscover the educational value of the family unit.” Families, he said, must be founded “on the love that always regenerates relationships, opening up horizons of hope.” The Pope emphasized the importance in the family of prayer, affection, forgiveness, tenderness, and adherence to the will of God. “In this way,” he said, “the family opens itself to the joy that God gives to all those who know how to give joyfully.”
A happy home, he added, is also outgoing: “it finds the spiritual energy to be open to the outside world, to others, to the service of brothers and sisters, to collaboration in building an ever new and better world,” especially by the example of daily life.
Pope Francis recognised that every family has its problems, and that at times, because we are human, because we are weak, we even fight within the family. “I want to tell you one thing,” the Pope said: “If we fight in the family, never end the day without making peace.” Once again, he recommended three words that should be common in every family: “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry.” If these three words are present in the family, he said, the family will be in good shape.
A year of reflection on Amoris laetitia
Returning to the theme of “evangelizing with the family,” Pope Francis said Sunday’s feast proposes to us once again “the ideal of conjugal and family love, as emphasized by the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, promulgated five years ago” on the feast of St Joseph in 2016.
The upcoming year, he said, “will be a year of reflection on Amoris laetitia,” he added, “and will be an opportunity to deepen the contents of the document.” During this special year, he said, “these reflections will be made available to ecclesial communities and to families, to accompany them on their journey. In particular, Pope Francis invited everyone “to take part in the initiatives that will be promoted during the year, and that will be coordinated by the Dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life.”
The Holy Father went on to entrust the “journey” of the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family” to “the Holy Family of Nazareth, and in particular to Saint Joseph, the devoted spouse and father.”
Following the Angelus, the Holy See Press Office confirmed that the special Year dedicated to the “Family Amoris laetitia,” will be inaugurated on the upcoming Solemnity of Saint Joseph (19 March 2021), and will conclude with the celebration of the Tenth World Meeting of Families, to be held here in Rome in June 2022.