Need to Embrace People Where They Are

Catholic Synod of Bishops on the theme “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.”

Today in our readings we are confronted with the thought if our hearts are “set” more on this world and the “gain” we can get, or if we are sincerely lovers of God who want to comply to His regulations and prescriptions.

The last three decades in several countries we have seen that many people were looking to fulfil their dreams and their own wishes. For sure also we, like the Roman Catholic Church may not ignore the changes in civil society.

‘There must be an end to exclusionary language and a strong emphasis on embracing reality as it is. We should not be afraid of new and complex situations.’

said Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the Vatican’s English speaking language spokesperson, Tuesday afternoon at the briefing of the Synod’s second day in the Vatican press office.

Fr. Rosica Speaks on Synod Delegates, Fathers Discussing the Need to Embrace People Where They Are

Lots of people are very curious with what the Roman Catholic Church shall come up after their October 4-25 meeting, being held on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world.”

All Christian denominations better look into this matter and consider what their vocation is or should be and how they want to bring back the people to the Most High God and His church. Important is also how we want to address to the civilians who are surrounded by a lot of material and exponential dreams of a better future. The way how we want to reach them in which language should be of big concern. Also our

language must be renewed,” like Fr. Rosica said and referred to the Catholic Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy which Pope Francis had declared, Dec. 8, 2014 – Nov. 20, 2015.

“The Jubilee of Mercy requires a language of mercy”

he stated. Father Rosica underscored how language ought to always be inclusive, rather than exclusive, particularly for homosexuals. {72 Synod Fathers on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”}

People must be blind if they do not see the necessity of such talks about relationships, family and the construction of a Christian community. When we careful look at the daily life of the men and women of today we can see how certain values have been thrown overboard of the Judeo Christian ship. How people behave in their sexual relationship with others and how they want to go through life must get us to think if it would not be better we start again taking care of an education bringing in certain old family values. There is a great need everywhere for a robust injection of family spirit and of a re-education of what we really need in life and how we have to treat other people. In fact, the style of relations — civil, economic, juridical, professional, of citizenship — seems very rational, formal, organized but also very “dehydrated,” arid, anonymous.

At times it becomes unbearable. Although it wishes to be inclusive in its ways, in reality it abandons an increasingly greater number of people to loneliness and rejection. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

Pope Francis I may think

we are all aware of the irreplaceable family care for the smallest, most vulnerable, most wounded members and even for the most damaged in the conduct of their life.

but in reality lots of people are so much busy with their own self they are not much interested in the intensity, reality and sincerity of their relationships with others. Though many get hurt by the present situation how many people treat relationships as a replaceable not so significant product. Many have forgotten how families must be structured safely and how there has to be worked on every day. The majority of the present population has forgotten that fidelity implies the unfailing fulfillment of one’s obligations and strict adherence to vows or promises, like the fidelity to one’s spouse; acted in fidelity to religious laws. Not many consider it as a duty to stay faithfull or to stay married. Many have forgotten how the family opens for the whole society a much more human prospect:

it opens children’s eyes to life — and not only their sight but also all the other senses — representing a vision of human relation built on the free covenant of love. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

The family introduces to this need the bonds of fidelity, sincerity, trust, cooperation, respect; it encourages to project a habitable world and to believe in relations of trust, even in difficult conditions; it teaches to honour the word given, respect of individual persons, the sharing of personal and other limitations. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

The Pope recognises that

despite knowing all this, the family is not given due weight — and recognition and support — in the political and economic organization of contemporary society. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

Today having the parents so busy with earning enough money to keep the family going they lose sight of one of the most important elements for human beings, namely education.

Not only does the family not have adequate recognition, but it no longer generates learning!
Sometimes it could be said that, with all its science and its technology, modern society is not yet able to translate this knowledge into better ways of civil coexistence.
Not only is the organization of common life increasingly hindered by a bureaucracy that is altogether foreign to fundamental human bonds, but, in fact, the social and political custom often shows signs of degradation — aggressiveness, vulgarity, contempt … –, which are well below the threshold of even minimal family education. In this situation, the opposite extremes of this brutalization of relations — namely technocratic obtuseness and amoral familism — unite and nourish one another. This is a paradox. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

On this precise point, for the Catholic church Father

the Church singles out today the historic meaning of her mission in regard to the family and genuine family spirit: beginning with a careful revision of life, which concerns herself. It could be said that “family spirit” is a constitutional charter for the Church: so must Christianity appear and so must it be. It is written in clear letters: “You who were far off — says Saint Paul — […] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). The Church is and must be the family of God. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

That family feeling has disappeared in many churches. Lots of denominations of the Christian faith have to contend with the draining of their church buildings. At their services there can not be found a real family feeling. Most often we see individuals coming to the church service, sitting passively in the church-benches or or the individual chairs listening or dreaming away whilst the pastor or priest resides his texts.

A big difference with our services is that in the majority of other Christian churches there is no gathering with others on a brother and sister base, enjoying together also some drinks and a meal. At our services it is normal to be together united as brothers and sisters, with after the active involvement at the worship service a pleasant gathering having some beverages together again as feeling united in one big family.

The Roman Catholic Church does not know such active church service, though the Charismatic Catholic Church also loves to feel that gathering and has more to their meetings than just going through the Holy Mass. But the Charismatic Catholics and Charismatic Protestants also face the same problem as the other Catholics and any other civilian. Our civil society seems to be derailed. Family values seem to have been watered down or drowned. Everywhere around us we can see divorcees and disrupted families who are tying to meet the ends.

Long ago there was the church to help in such circumstances, but having so many civilians gone away from church and faith, they do not seem to find much solution in the civilian guidance and marriage consult offices.

For us, active in the faith, this is a challenge. Today we have even a bigger task than just teaching the Gospel. Today we have to go out to the people and give them our ear. Listening to them and trying to bring reasonable answers.

When Jesus called Peter to follow him, he told him that he would make him a “fisher of men”, and for this, a new type of nets is needed. We could say that today families are one of the most important nets for the mission of Peter and of the Church. This is not a net that makes us prisoners. On the contrary, it frees from the evil waters of abandonment and indifference, which drown many human beings in the sea of loneliness and indifference. Families know well the dignity of feeling themselves children and not slaves or strangers, or just a number of an identity card. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

No church person, be it an elder, deacon, priest, pastor, bishop, cardinal or pope, may be indifferent for what is going on today. We must see the changes in our society and take into account that we do have communities with ‘straight’ people, gay people, transgender. It are not thy who should come to us in the first place, but we should go to them. Real Christians should present themselves as available to listen and to help, no matter what has happened before or whatever sex feelings a person may have.

The Pope continued to say:

From here, from the family, Jesus begins again his passage among human beings, to persuade them that God has not forgotten them. From here Peter gets the vigour for his ministry. From here, obeying the word of the Master, the Church goes out to fish in the deep certain that, if this happens, the fishing will be miraculous. {Pope Francis I’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square}

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Additional reading:

  1. Two synods and life in the church community
  2. A Synod to speak freely and to listen without reservations
  3. 72 Synod Fathers on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”
  4. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  5. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus
  6. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  7. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  8. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  10. To find ways of Godly understanding
  11. What’s church for, anyway?
  12. Making church
  13. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  14. A call easy to understand
  15. Writers needed to preach to non-believers

 

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Further reading:

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