Week 37 — Family
"That is why I kneel before the Father from Whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name; and I pray." —Ephesians 3:14-16
"The Father and I are one." —Jn 10:30
Abba: I am God. God is a Trinity. God is family. You are made in My image and likeness. You are family with Us and with each other. Live as family. Otherwise, you will experience alienation and loneliness. I have made you My family.
Child: Abba, why would You make me Your family? Why adopt human creatures when You have Jesus and the Spirit?
Abba: Child, you're in My family not because I need you, but because I love you.
Love ever more deeply your immediate family.
"The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ." —1 Cor 12:12
Jesus: You are My body. You are family. You need each other.
Child: Jesus, I need to stay away from people. You know what they did to You. I'll get hurt in family.
Jesus: Of course you will, but I'm not talking about minimizing pain but about maximizing love. Family hurts, but family heals, too. Family and suffering are channels of life.
Love those who hurt you.
"I pray that they may be (one) in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." —Jn 17:21
Jesus: I am deeply grieved over the disunity in My body. I grieve over your disobedience in abetting and tolerating disunity. Obey Me by uniting in the Spirit. You don't have to wait. You become family when you live like family.
Child: Jesus, forgive me. You've always answered my prayers, but I refuse to answer Yours when You pray that we be one as You and the Father are one.
Love the brothers and sisters you're separated from.
"You see that Your father and I have been searching for You in sorrow." —Lk 2:48
Abba: Child, I plan all the families unless My children refuse to let Me. I don't usually plan families to be "nuclear." I love big families, because big families often inspire big faith. I love to create people.
Child: Abba, give me some of Your enthusiasm for family life. Fill my house to the fullest (Lk 14:23).
Love to parent and to be with your children; consider discipling them through home-schooling.
"It becomes so big a shrub that the birds of the sky come and build their nests in its branches." —Mt 13:32
Abba: Child, I want your family and home to become a nesting place. The married and the single, the young and the old, the hurt and the lost—all need a family life. Family life is the way I cure most ills.
Child: Abba, thank You for extending my family.
Love the parts of His body.
"Near the cross of Jesus there stood His mother, His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." —Jn 19:25
Jesus: When you're hanging on the cross, many will leave you. Even some of your family will betray you (Mt 10:21), but some of your family will stay with you.
Child: Jesus, "may I not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be loved as to love" (Prayer of St. Francis).
Jesus: I will gladly do as you ask.
Love the unlovable and those who reject you.
"Seeing His mother there with the disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His mother, 'Woman, there is your son.' In turn He said to the disciple, 'There is your mother.' From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care." —Jn 19:26-27
Jesus: I give you Mary as your mother. She will teach you to be family. She will teach you to suffer, love, and give life. Mothers have a way with families. I will work through her.
Child: Jesus, may I honor my two mothers: my natural mother and Mary, my adopted mother.
Mary: Do whatever Jesus tells you (Jn 2:5).
Love kids, families, joys, and sorrows.
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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