the eternal family reunion
"Christ's peace must reign in your hearts." —Colossians 3:15
We want to celebrate Christmas with our families. Therefore, Christmas is especially difficult for us if a loved one has died in the last year. However, we have the great hope of our families getting together for the eternal happiness of heaven. We will have a family reunion in heaven in the not too distant future, and if the Lord has His way, not one family member will be missing (see Jn 6:39; 1 Tm 2:4).
For your family to stay together for an eternity of Christmases, you must:
- Repent of sin and decide to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mk 12:30).
- Talk to your family members about your love for Jesus.
- Be in right relationship with family members. Honor your parents (Sir 3:2), be submissive to your husband, lay down your life for your wife (Col 3:18-19), disciple your children.
- Pray together daily as a married couple and as a family (see Mt 18:19-20).
- Forgive family members seven times seventy times (Mt 18:22; see Col 3:13).
Many of you feel very discouraged about the spiritual state of your families. Be instead confident that the Lord loves each member of your family, even to death on the cross. Jesus will change the hardest heart. Be hopeful.
Prayer: Father, may I remove the plank of sin from my own eye so as to help family members remove the specks from their eyes (Mt 7:5).
Promise: "Kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering — it will take lasting root." Sir 3:14
Praise: We praise You, Father, "from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name" (Eph 3:15). May your light shine through our family for the world to see.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019
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