In preparation for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 and the anticipated visit from Pope Francis, a catechism on family life titled “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” has been prepared. Each month CatholicPhilly.com presents a reflection on one of the 10 chapters of the catechism written by its editor, Christopher Roberts of Philadelphia.
“Love is Our Mission” because love is our origin and destiny. Created in the image of God, a human being is created for communion, which means that loving God and neighbor is the reason for our existence. Catholics believe these things because of Jesus, our bedrock and cornerstone. Jesus suffered and yet persevered in love; he was crucified and yet rose again.
In Jesus, we believe that the Creator of the universe became one of us, revealing not only who God is, but also who we are created to be and become. In a world of anxiety and doubt, Jesus is trustworthy. When we follow Jesus, body and soul, even when it hurts and requires sacrifice, we are living lives of integrity, for only in living this way will our lives coincide with the reason for our existence. This brings us great joy.
We sin and stumble, but the God we meet in Christ is faithful even when we are not. God’s forgiveness is a gift that gives us back to ourselves, enabling us to embrace our mission and destiny anew.
Catholic sacraments and moral teachings serve this destiny. The sacraments are a genuine encounter with Christ, while the moral teachings show what Christ-like love looks like in particular situations.
Catholic life summons us to heroism and adventure even in ordinary daily life. The world is charged with the beauty and grace of God, and neighbors who need our love and kindness are all around us.
Did you know?
The World Meeting of Families event was established by Pope St. John Paul II in 1994. It is held every three years in cities across the world, and 2015 is the first time it will be in the United States. Its goals are to strengthen family bonds and to give witness to the fundamental role of the family in society.