A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
On Safari – the lessons from autumn.
September 26, 2020
Ministry & Life Perspectives
August 8, 2020
Fr. Tom Knoblach
“A long time ago, in a cluster far, far away …” Well, only a few years ago, and the cluster was in St. Cloud. We hosted a mission entitled “The Gift That Is Our Family.” It was intended to honor and support what Catholic faith recognizes: that the family is called to be a “domestic Church,” a place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is lived and handed on from generation to generation. Like the Church as a whole, each family has the mission to witness to God’s love and make it effective in the world.
Since March, many families have spent an abundance of time together that would not have happened “pre-COVID.” For many, that has been a gift, but also a challenge — working from home, distance-learning, extra burdens for some and frustrating idleness for others. Disruption of routines unsettles us, but it can also teach us. What have you learned in these months about yourself and others, and about the grace of God?
Among our first One In Christ ACC goals is evangelization.
The motivation for evangelization is not to shore up declining numbers and diminishing participation in parish life. Rather, it is the mission given by Jesus to every generation of faith, to share the Gospel in joy. As from the beginning of Christian faith, this mission succeeds best not by words or slogans, but simply by being living, credible witnesses to what the risen Jesus is still doing among us.
Evangelization begins in the family, a communion of love and life, with all the joys and sorrows, dramas and celebrations, tensions and reconciliations that make up our most immediate sense of community and purpose.
Belonging to one another; cherishing closeness and working
through problems; a sense of responsibility for creating a
common life together; listening and forgiveness and starting
anew – we learn the most basic lessons for success in life first in our families, teaching us the skills we need no matter where our future leads. The work of the Church is not so much what happens in our parish buildings but what we do when we are sent forth from them.
Your family is truly a gift. It is a gift from God’s love to each family member and to the world. “Family” in this sense is not only our household; it crosses generations and also expands to the family of the Church and the human family. “The Gift That Is Our Family” reminds us that we receive love and care from others, and are called to give that gift to others. As Jesus says: “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give” (Mt 10:8). What talents, skills, qualities has God entrusted to you as a steward? What is the Gift you will bring, as individuals and especially as families, to our family in faith.