By Robin Gomes
The good health of the family, where love, faith and good deeds are taught and learnt, is decisive for the future of the world and the Church. This is why the Church, in the footsteps of Jesus, is close to families that face the challenges and difficulties of today.
Pope Francis gave this assurance while talking to the officials and personnel of the Rome Police Headquarters and the Central Health Directorate, who came along with their families to meet him.
The Pope who was particularly moved to meet the families, especially children, noted that the bitter realities of life, of pain and evil are understood and overcome in the communion of life and love of the family.
Jesus accompanies families
Citing amply from the Bible about families in suffering and difficulties, the Pope said Jesus never fails to come to the rescue of those who call out to Him for help or who cry inconsolably.
Jesus, the Holy Father assured, accompanies with His mercy all human beings, especially families, to whom he manifests his tenderness and caress through the embrace of a mother, a father, a son.
Stressing that the family is the place of tenderness, the Pope urged families never to lose this tenderness that the current age lacks, and to help rediscover it.
This is why, the Pope said, in the scriptures, God shows Himself to be a father and also a mother who looks after and bends down in the gesture of breastfeeding and providing food.
Church close to families
Like Jesus, the Pope said, the Church also knows the anxieties and tensions of families, such as generation gap, domestic violence, economic difficulties and job insecurity, and is close to them as a travelling companion.
Like a caring mother, the Church teaches us to be steadfast in God who loves and sustains us. This “fundamental inner experience”, this “solid inner experience”, the Pope said, helps us in facing all oppositions and vicissitudes of life, and enables us to be saints, persevering in goodness which conquers every evil.
Faith, that is handed down in the family, teaches us to pray while being open to hope in joyful harmony with others, supporting one another while acknowledging our limitations.