Today, as we delve into the Gospel's teaching, “Remember Lot’s wife,” we find a profound message for our times, especially when we consider the concept of the domestic church in light of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary's example.
Saint Elizabeth’s life of service and transformation echoes the call for our families to be domestic churches—sanctuaries of faith, hope, and love in the modern world. In embracing this call, we are invited to look forward with hope, not back with longing or fear.
Families as Domestic Churches
The Rite of Christian Relationship, as outlined by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak of the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life, is a crucial element in this. It encourages us to foster Christ-centered relationships within our families, where every interaction is imbued with the love, respect, and selflessness taught by Jesus. This means actively choosing to love, forgive, and support each other, reflecting the love of Christ in our daily interactions.
Similarly, the Rite of Family Rituals invites us to sanctify our daily lives. By establishing strong rituals for working, playing, talking, and praying together, we teach each other how to live as Christians in all aspects of life. These rituals are not just beneficial practices; they serve as a living catechism, guiding us in how to relate to prayer, work, relationships, and leisure in a manner that honors our faith.
Lastly, the Rite of Reaching Out extends our domestic church into the broader community. This rite encourages our families to look for ways to bless others with the gifts we have been given. It extends beyond our household to the broader community, where we can share our witness of service, hospitality, and generosity. This means actively using our time, treasure, and talents to serve others, just as Saint Elizabeth of Hungary did and as Christ Himself taught us.
Beacons of Christ's Light
When becoming domestic churches, our families become beacons of Christ’s light in the world. We actively participate in the mission of the Church, not just within the walls of our homes, but in every place our lives touch.
So, let us embrace these rites with enthusiasm and commitment. Let us, like Saint Elizabeth, transform our families into havens of God’s love, and in doing so, find ourselves moving forward with hope and faith, ever closer to Jesus.
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About Father Pinto Paul, C.S.C.
Father Pinto Paul C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1999, worked with tribal populations in northeast India as a missionary for ten years. In 2010 he came to the US for further studies. While working as a campus minister at Stonehill College, he assisted pastors in local parishes, led seminars and workshops for teachers and students in the US and earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, Cambridge. He is currently working as the International Director of the Boston-based Holy Cross Family Ministries with missions in 17 countries.