Monday, September 21, 2015


This is our final reflection on the subject of marriage and the family. We are on the eve of beautiful and demanding events, which are directly connected with this great subject: the World Meeting of Families at Philadelphia and the Synod of Bishops here in Rome. Both have a worldwide breadth, which corresponds to the universal dimension of Christianity, but also to the universal importance of this fundamental and irreplaceable human community that, in fact, the family is.
The present period of civilization seems marked by the long-term effects of a society administered by economic technocracy. The subordination of ethics to the logic of profit has tremendous resources and enormous media support. In this scenario, a new alliance of man and woman becomes not only necessary but also strategic for the emancipation of people from the colonization of money. This alliance must return to orientate politics, the economy and civil coexistence! It decides the habitability of the earth, the transmission of the meaning of life, the bonds of memory and of hope.
Of this alliance, the conjugal-family community of man and woman is the generative grammar, the “golden bond,” we could say. Faith draws it from the wisdom of the creation of God, who has entrusted to the family not the care of an intimacy that ends in itself, but rather the exciting project of rendering the world “domestic.” The family, in fact, is at the beginning, at the base of this global culture that saves us. It saves us from so many, so many attachments, so many destructions, so many colonization’s, such as that of money or those ideological ones that threaten the world so much; the family is at the base to defend oneself.
In fact, in our brief Wednesday meditations on the family, we took our fundamental inspiration from the biblical Word of creation. We can and must draw from this Word again with abundance and profundity. It is a great work that awaits us, but also very exciting. God’s creation is not a simple philosophical premise: it is the universal horizon of life and of faith! There is not a different divine design of creation and of its salvation. It is for the salvation of the creature – of every creature – that God became man: “for us men and for our salvation,” as the Creed says. And the Risen Jesus is “the first born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
The created world is entrusted to man and woman: what happens between them leaves an imprint on everything. Their rejection of God’s blessing leads fatally to a delirium of omnipotence that ruins everything. It is what we call “original sin.” And we all come into the world with this inherited sickness.
Despite this, we are not cursed or abandoned to ourselves. The ancient account of God’s first love for man and woman, already had pages written with fire in this regard! “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15a).  They are the words that God addresses to the deceitful, beguiling serpent. Through these words God marks woman with a protective barrier against evil, to which she can take recourse – if she wishes – for every generation. It means that woman bears a secret and special blessing, for the defense of her child from the Evil One! As the Woman of Revelation, who runs to hide her son from the Dragon. And God protects her (Revelation 12:6).
Think what depth opens here! There are many common places, sometimes even offensive, of the temptress woman that inspires to evil. Instead, there is room for a theology of woman that is equal to this blessing of God for herself and for the generation!
In any case, the merciful protection of God in the dealings of man and woman never fails for both. Let us not forget this! The symbolic language of the Bible tells us that before driving them out from the Garden of Eden, God made for the man and the woman garments of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21) This gesture of tenderness also means that in the painful consequences of our sin, God does not want us to remain naked and abandoned to our fate of sinners. We see this divine tenderness, this care for us, incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, “born of woman” (Galatians 4:4). And Saint Paul says again: “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Christ, born of woman, of a woman, is God’s caress on our wounds, on our mistakes, on our sins. But God loves us as we are and wants to lead us forward with this plan! And woman is the strongest who carries this plan forward.
The promise that God makes to man and woman, at the beginning of history, includes all human beings until the end of history. If we have sufficient faith, the families of the peoples of the earth will recognize themselves in this blessing. Whoever lets himself be moved by this vision in any way, regardless to what people, nation, or religion he belongs, let him get underway with us. He/she will be our brother and sister, without engaging in proselytism, no! We walk together under this blessing and under this objective of God to make us all brothers in life in a world that goes forward and is born in fact of the family, of the union of man and woman.
May God bless you, families of all corners of the earth! And may God bless you all!

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