Closing of the Year of the Family: Audio of the Prelate

A 3-minute audio in which Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz reflects on the Year of the Family that ends today, which is also the feast of Saint Josemaria.

Transcription in English of the Prelate's audio:

I am happy to be able to send this message and thus be closely united with the Pope, who has convoked this year especially dedicated to the family. The year ends with a meeting in Rome that has as its theme: “Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness.”

The fact that today, June 26th, is the feast of Saint Josemaría invites us also to thank God for wanting the Work to be, within the Church, a small family – small not because we are few but because of our unity and our closeness.

We do not, however, want to be a family closed in on itself. We want to make the world a home and bring people closer to God who is a Father and to the Church who is a Mother. I recall now those first young people who drew close to our Founder. They were happy and strengthened by the family atmosphere in El Sotanillo, the cafe where they met because there was not yet any center of the Work.

It is very good for us to feel the joyful responsibility of carrying on that atmosphere and warmth of a family in our apostolic work, when we are accompanying and caring for the elderly and the sick, and in the environment of trust and fraternity with the people in one’s center.

You who are supernumeraries have a special grace to “build a family” wherever you are. This happens first of all in your homes when, despite the difficulties and suffering that accompany our journey on earth, you try to make them “bright and cheerful homes.” You have all of God’s grace to raise your families with the joy of knowing we are children of God and with the light of the faith and the vocation. In turn, you will bring this family spirit to your group and your center, and live the blessed fraternity that leads you to give yourselves continually to others, while being very close to those who most need your care and company.

Saint Josemaría passed on to his children a conviction about the transforming power of the family in society, that is, the family’s capacity for building a more human society, more in keeping with the dignity of the children of God. He liked the example of the families of the first Christians, which were focal points of evangelization.

Let us ask the Holy Family for the strength to renew our family life with hope and to accompany other families, especially those who, in various ways, are experiencing greater difficulties and suffering. All of them should be present in our prayer, especially on today’s feast. Nothing is of little concern or foreign to us Christians since, as Saint Paul tells us, “all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor 3:22-23).

May God bless you.