Lesson Notes: What Makes a Family?

Building on last week’s discussion on babies, let’s continue the conversation on family life.  We start out with some attention-getters from nature to illustrate that God has a really, really big imagination (understatement of the year), but in all of creation only human parents can really love their offspring.  God could have constructed family life in ways we can’t even imagine, but He chose a plan that includes a man and a woman and marriage.  Because the plan is His, we can be positive He’s offering the graces to do it well.  This happens primarily through the sacraments; baptismal graces, those offered to a family initially through the sacrament of Matrimony, the weekly (or daily) ones we get through the reception of the Eucharist, and, because we all fail pretty regularly we can take advantage of the graces offered through the sacrament of Reconciliation.

The next concept is that a family is a community and as members we each have all sorts of rights and responsibilities.  The details vary widely from your family to mine, but in general each member needs to contribute, cooperate, show love and respect, earn respect, etc.  This is summed up nicely in the words and extended meaning of the 4th Commandment.

Whatever your family makeup happens to be, you can be sure that God has chosen you to be together for very specific reasons with the purpose of making you all more holy and therefore on the path to heaven.  You are almost certainly learning virtues of patience and sacrifice, among others.

Hopefully, you’re also learning more about the practice of prayer.  I’ve found the Morning Offering to be a particularly helpful one.  Not only is it brief and easy to memorize, but these powerful words are basically saying, “Jesus, I give you everything.  Transform me and use me.”  Families who are on that path can change the world!

How does family life relate to Jesus?

There are so many ways, but here are a few:

  • Christ was born into a family, thereby sanctifying the arrangement in every way!
  • Through His life in a family, Jesus gives an example to us all.
  • We hope a major goal you have for your family is to make Jesus a trusted partner in all you do.

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