30 April, 2013

Quote for the New Evangelization: Loyalty & Family

"The strength of a family is measured in the loyalty of its members."

As baptized Catholics, we are all members of a number of families to which we owe and are owed loyalty. First and foremost is our membership in God's family, made so through His adoption of humanity in the life and passion of Jesus. We can always count on the loyalty of God, both to walk with us through the joys and trials of life and to bring us to the life to come.

We are also members of the Catholic family. Given its human membership it's a family that comes with all the good and bad we can see in any extended family: mostly good and loving folks with a few bad apples mixed in that others try to ignore and never want to acknowledge as being related to them. Thankfully the majority of those who carry the appelation 'Catholic' recognize the obligation to preserve and pass on the good reputation that family name which our ancestors passed on to us.

Finally, there's our own biological and social families. We count on their love and support in surmounting the chores of our daily lives. Loyalty to family and friends is rooted in the relationship of love that exists between people mutually committed to each other in a common purpose. It's a relationship that's marked with reciprocity of care and understanding members, however it's one that slips into dysfunction and destruction when too many members neglect their obligations to others.

In terms of the New Evangelization, this quote should remind us of what we owe to all the 'others' in our own various families. John the Evangelists tells us that others will be won for the kingdom by witnessing by the way that we 'love one another' as Jesus loved his apostles and disciples - the socio-religious 'family' with whom he lived and moved with during the years of his public ministry. He ably demonstrated his loyalty to them (and by extension us too) by accepting (and ultimately defeating) death during the holy days of that first Easter morning. We owe a similar love to our families as well. All Catholics should regularly measure just how loyal and faithful we have been with a firm resolve to make repairs where ever needed when we discover a flaw in our love of God, Church, or each other.

To God we owe our best effort to live as he has called us to, each in the manner appropriate to our individual calling by spending time with him in prayer and acting as his 'arms and legs' in serving the people around us. To the Church we owe the obligation to learn and adhere to her teachings, to regularly practice of faith so as to sustain the community with the witness of their presence, and to take up the appropriate task of the laity to promote the faith through a virtuous and loving life at home and in the community. To our biological and social families we owe our loving and consistent support in good times and in bad as well living in such a manner so as to not bring disrepute or shame to our family name.

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