Pope Francis on the family: an inestimable and irreplacable good
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, October 27th, 2013, to mark the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time and the World Family Day at the close of the 21st Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which met in Rome this past week to reflect on the theme of living the joy of the Faith. In his homily, the Holy Father spoke of the Christian family as an institution that prays, keeps faith, and experiences joy.
Over 100 thousand people were in St Peter’s Square on Sunday morning under a late October sky that was at first overcast and threatening before giving way during the course of Mass to brilliant sunshine. In his homily, Pope Francis challenged families to pray together:. “It is,” he said, “a matter of humility: of realizing that we need God.” The Holy Father went on to call families to lives of Christian witness, asking them to model their lives on St the example of St. Paul, who kept the faith by sharing it. “ Christian families are missionary families,” said Pope Francis, “in their everyday life, in their doing everyday things, as they bring to everything the salt and the leaven of faith!”
Pope Francis concluded his homily with a reflection on the joy of living as a Christian family. He said, “The family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally.” He went on to say, “That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society.”
After Mass, before reciting the Angelus with the gathered faithful, the Holy Father paused before an icon of the Holy Family that was placed on the steps of the Basilica, and recited a prayer composed for the occasion: “Holy Family of Nazareth,” he prayed, “reawaken in our society the awareness of the sacred and inviolable character of the family, an inestimable and irreplaceable good. Let every family be a welcoming place of goodness and peace for children and the elderly, for the sick and lonely, for the poor and needy.”