May 26, 2022
St Anne Christmas crib

Hope for Families

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Bishop delivers message of hope to the families of Leeds Diocese

“The precious gift of our Faith at Christmas offers all Hope”

The Catholic bishop of Leeds the Right Rev. Marcus Stock has written a pastoral letter on occasion of the feast of the Holy Family last Sunday. In the pastoral letter which was read out in all the parish churches of Leeds, the bishop stressed the sacred concept of the family. Using the Christmas crib and cards which illustrates Joseph and Mary gazing down lovingly at the infant Jesus which signifies in modern times the nuclear family. In the time of Jesus the family was extended and consisted of aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins.

The Gospel of Luke gives an intimate portrait of the the young Jesus. After the presentation at the temple. Jesus was found to be missing and we can feel the anxiety any parent will feel at the loss of a child. Thinking Jesus was with trusted relatives and friends his parents panicked further on discovering that he wasn’t with them either.

They were later overcome with joy when he was discovered at the temple after three days. When asked by his mother why he did this, Jesus replied he had to do his “father’s business.” The teen aged God returned with them to Nazareth and submitted to parental authority. His mother kept this in her heart and later recounted it to the apostles which Luke recorded in his version. Telling the parishioners that this account shows that the role of the family is not only providing warmth, security and affection for every child and young person but a place to be a true child of God. That is why the Church considers the family as the “domestic Church.”

The bishop continued on the importance of family saying; the Second Vatican Council has reinforced this teaching that the parent should be the first example of preaching the Faith. An awesome vocation considering the great challenges and anxieties during this pandemic. All families at this time needs the support of the extended family and the church.

“The wellbeing of society depends on the wellbeing of families.” The bishop added in his letter. Many families are struggling with one form of brokenness or are dealing with the insecurity of a rapidly changing world in the realms of the social, economic and environmental. Which has made many to ask anxiously what will the future be for our children and grand children? Christians are not excluded from these anxieties.

The Rt Rev. Marcus concluded that the precious gift of the Faith shines a light on the path; the joyful message of the birth of Jesus to the entire world and the example of the Holy Family offers hope to a world in distress.

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