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Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Joy of Love

Yesterday we received the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis entitled "The Joy of Love" and it is worth reading. It is full of love for family life, and full of mercy. I thought I would share some quotes that really struck me.

Jesus himself was born into a modest family that soon had to flee to a foreign land. He visits the home of Peter, whose mother-in-law is ill (cf. Mk 1:30-31) and shows sympathy upon hearing of deaths in the homes of Jairus and Lazarus (cf. Mk 5:22-24, 35-43; Jn 11:1-44). He hears the desperate wailing of the widow of Nain for her dead son (cf. Lk 7:11-15) and heeds the plea of the father of an epileptic child in a small country town (cf. Mk 9:17-27). He goes to the homes of tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus (cf. Mt 9:9-13; Lk 19:1-10), and speaks to sinners like the woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee (cf. Lk 7:36-50). Jesus knows the anxieties and tensions experienced by families and he weaves them into his parables: children who leave home to seek adventure (cf. Lk 15:11-32), or who prove troublesome (Mt 21:28-31) or fall prey to violence (Mk 12:1-9). He is also sensitive to the embarrassment caused by the lack of wine at the marriage feast...

This is a sample of how Pope Francis weaves Scripture into his  writing and makes us think of some of the ways Jesus was present to help family members. I have not had time to read the entire document as it is long, but I like what I have read and I like the emphasis on mercy, discerning with people and a strong pastoral approach instead of just insisting on doctrine.

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