At the World Meeting of Families this evening, Pope Francis left aside his prepared address to speak about the truth, goodness and beauty of God, and the truth, goodness and beauty of families.
After a handful of musical performances and presentations from families representing a variety of places and situations, Pope Francis enthusiastically addressed the crowd to tell them “the most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family.”
“All of the love that God has in Himself, all of the beauty that God has in Himself, all of the truth that God has in Himself, He gives to the family,” the Pope said. “And a family is truly a family when it is able to open its arms and receive all of this love.”
The Holy Father brought laughter from the crowd several times, as he quipped about how children ask difficult questions, and said that someone could accuse him of speaking so beautifully of families only because he’s not married.
But the family, the Pope said, is the subject of God’s special predilection: When he sent His son, “He sent Him to a family! God came into the world in a family.”
“In families, there are difficulties,” Francis acknowledged. “In families, we argue; in families, sometimes the plates fly; in families, the children give us headaches. And I’m not even going to mention the mother-in-law. But in families, there is always, always, the cross. Always. Because the love of God, of the Son of God, also opened for us this path. But, in families as well, after the cross, there is the resurrection. Because the Son of God opened for us this path.”
The Pope repeated advice he has given to couples on other occasions: “Never end the day without making peace in the family. In a family, a day cannot end at war.”
And he also emphasized a theme close to his heart: the need to care especially for children and the elderly.
“A people that does not know how to care for the children and a people that does not know how to care for the grandparents is a people without a future, because it doesn’t have strength and it doesn’t have the memory that will carry it forward.”
“Let us care for the family,” the Pope exhorted in conclusion. “Let us defend the family, because there, there, our future is in play.”
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