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We had our Parish monthly BECCOT meeting on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 at 8pm. A total of 12 out of 18 BEC representatives were present at the meeting. This month’s NEWBEC (New Way of Being Church) reflection paper focuses on “The Family As A Sacred Expression of God’s Love.” It invites us to examine the idea of a modern family - the communication, interaction and faith-level of families.

Since 1994, the United Nations has observed International Day of Families (IDF) on 15 May every year. IDF “provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families as well as to promote appropriate action”, throughout all countries. This year, IDF falls on a Sunday, and it will be appropriate for us to celebrate this day together as a family during Mass, by asking Jesus to protect and bless our families.

Although we aim to live a perfect family life, very often families face all kinds of challenges, obstacles and trials. Crucial aspects of parenting include the upbringing of children, providing education and basic necessities, as well as nurturing the relationship between family members, failing which, many families may find themselves fragmented, depressed, wounded and in danger of breaking up.

The Church calls the family a “little Church” or “domestic Church” and places Jesus at the center. Many families may find that the atmosphere within their home is dominated by negative influences such as prolonged use of digital gadgets which may hinder our moral and faith life. Parents are responsible for their children’s physical, mental and spiritual health by bringing God’s holiness into their lives. In the Book of Joshua, we learn that he made a firm decision for his family - “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” (Joshua 24: 15). We make our choice known - who are we going to serve - either the One true God or false gods?

We all need a family. Without one, we may find it difficult to call any place “home”. Home is where the heart is, where we live together, and share each other’s joy and sorrow. Every individual in the family should play a part by loving each other unconditionally, especially in times of tension, anxiety and uncertainty. During these times, we should turn our listening ears towards each other and be supportive, in order to build a strong and faithful family. Every member has a responsibility to strengthen family values and be courageous in practicing the virtues that lead to peace and harmony at home.

This International Day of Families, it would be good if we would take the opportunity to walk down memory lane together by looking at family albums / wedding albums or by going out together for a meal or just sightseeing. Pursuing enjoyable activities together will surely enhance family bond and bring cheerfulness within the home. Let us make a difference in our families with the freshness of Christ’s love, harmony and peace. We seek the intercession of our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima to pray for our families - to refresh, revitalise and motivate us to pray and stay together always.

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