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The Love and Joy of Family - Family Reflection Video

The Love and Joy of Family - Family Reflection Video

Strengthening family unity  |  Celebrating family life

In John's Gospel, Jesus links two powerfully uplifting emotions: love and joy. And, it makes sense when we love someone, and they love us; there's a unifying force that stirs our souls and makes us joyful.

Jesus, who always leads us to the Father, explains, "As the Father loves me, so I also love you."  

Jesus not only leads us to the Father but invites us to be part of the love that they share. On a human level, this is what family members: beginning with mothers and fathers, are made to do for their children.  

A husband and wife united in God's love, naturally and even supernaturally, share this love through countless ways—many times sacrificially—late night feedings, early hockey practices, working overtime to pay for tuition, or simply to pay the mortgage or rent.  

Father Fred Jenga preached recently on the Gospel of John (15:1-8) about Jesus telling us that He is the vine, and we are the branches, helping us to understand that the fruitfulness of our lives is contingent on our connection to God.  

Just like that branch cut off from the vine, when we either partially or entirely disconnect ourselves from God and His Church, we are weakened and can become spiritually ill, sometimes gravely.  

So, the question is, how do we remain connected and in the love of God? Jesus unequivocally says, "If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love."  

Keeping and teaching God's commandments, making the time to pray for and with each other at home, leading by example, and inviting family members to Sunday Mass together and even a daily Mass are profound ways that parents (and I would also add: aunts and uncles, grandparents, and older brothers and sisters) share the love of God.

God's love is also taught by talking about what it means to be a follower of Jesus—explaining the Ten Commandments and how they apply today. We can also teach about God's love by explaining why we need to go to Confession, how that keeps us connected to the Vine—to God; and why the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, and the Sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders all matter?  

As we know, this isn't always easy; many times, it's trial and error. Most of the time, it's a process, not just like flipping a switch and the light comes on—but what Jesus promises is that if we stay connected and remain in His love, then His joy will be in us, and our joy may be complete

My brothers and sisters, may we stay in the love of God and help our families to do the same so that the joy of Jesus is present among us all.

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!