"Wives be submissive to your husbands... ." That is about the extent of the Pauline text from today most people ever hear. There are usually some nudges, side-way glances, and smirks. What people seldom hear is the continuation of St. Paul advocating that husbands should love their wives as does Christ the Church. And we can look at any crucifix and meditate on how much Christ loved the Church.
In a very real way if families are to be Holy, then the they have to follow the example of the Paschal Mystery. In love men and women come together to pledge their commitment to the other under the auspices of Christ's love. As St Paul would suggest, such a journey requires an ongoing unconditional 'Yes.' Families are formed in the image and likeness of God and need to bear witness to the sacredness and holiness of God in their very lives.
I grew up in a family with five siblings and two parents. I remember going to mass every Sunday. I don't remember if I "got" anything out of it every Sunday, but we went. I do remember the chaos that would erupt on some Sundays as our parents tried to get us ready, (as well as themselves) as we headed out the door. There were days when were not in the proper mental or spiritual framework to be at mass.
It is at these places where Paul speaks most practically. St. Paul calls for patience and understanding of one another. Moreover he reminds us that we need to act in charity within our families and communities. We are even to admonish each other, but with love and charity. Sirach goes to some lengths to describe the reverence and holiness that needs to exist in the Communion of the family. Children to love and honor their parent's as parents should love and honor their children. This is our holy call to honor and rspect each other.
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Sociologists explain that a primary purpose of the family is to convey a hand ovef tha variosd