Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 271 - Part I.

YOUCAT Question n. 271 - Part I. What does it mean to say that the family is a “Church in miniature”?

(Youcat answer) What the Church is on a large scale, the family is on a small scale: an image of God’s love in human fellowship. Indeed, every marriage is perfected in openness to others, to the children that God sends, in mutual acceptance, in hospitality and being for others.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1655) Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than "the family of God." From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers "together with all [their] household" (Cf. Acts 18:8). When they were converted, they desired that "their whole household" should also be saved (Cf. Acts 16:31; Acts 11:14). These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world.

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Nothing in the early Church fascinated people more about the “New Way” of the Christians than their “domestic churches”. Often someone “believed in the Lord, together with all his household; and many… believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). In an unbelieving world, islands of living faith were formed, places of prayer, mutual sharing, and cordial hospitality. Rome, Corinth, Antioch, the great cities of antiquity, were soon permeated with domestic churches that were like points of light. Even today families in which Christ is at home are the leaven that renews our society.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1656) In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica (LG 11; cf. FC 21). It is in the bosom of the family that parents are "by word and example… the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation" (LG 11). 

(This question: What does it mean to say that the family is a “Church in miniature”? is continued)

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