all in the family
“I kneel before the Father from Whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name; and I pray.” —Ephesians 3:14-16
Today’s first reading is possibly the greatest family prayer ever. It teaches us that, when we pray for our family and others, we should first of all pray for “gifts in keeping with the riches of His glory” (Eph 3:16). Family life is humanly impossible. We must admit this and then pray for supernatural gifts from God.
The demands of family life are overwhelming. The only way we will survive is by asking for and receiving inward strength “through the working of His Spirit” (Eph 3:16). We need not only divine gifts and inward strength, but we need God Himself to reside in our family (Eph 3:17). We bring this about by inviting Jesus into our hearts through faith (Eph 3:17). With God actually living in our family, love can now be the root and foundation of our family life (Eph 3:17), for God is Love (1 Jn 4:16). Because “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pt 4:8) and “never fails” (1 Cor 13:8), our families will be holy families, built up in love (Eph 4:16).
This may seem impossible to you, but God’s “power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20). So start praying the family prayer in Ephesians 3:16-17. Keep praying and obeying. Your family will be so transformed that, when you have a family reunion in heaven soon, not one family member will be missing.
Prayer: Father, may my family “grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love” (Eph 3:18-19).
Promise: “I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!” —Lk 12:49
Praise: Pope St. John Paul II beatified 1,338 people and canonized 482 saints in his long papacy. He was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. He is credited with the collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
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