Archbishop's Message

A NEW (YEAR) RESOLUTION!

“AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSEHOLD, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”

Blessings of the Christmas season and a happy New Year 2018!

As we begin a new year, we rejoice along with St Paul, who in his letter to the Corinthians acclaimed, “The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Last year, I shared my reflections on the theme ‘Pro-active silence’ in this column. I sincerely hope that the reflections would have aided you to enter deeper into communion with Christ. In this New Year, I feel it would be helpful to reflect on the theme of ‘Family Prayer’.

Pope Francis once tweeted, “May each family rediscover family prayer, which helps to bring about mutual understanding and forgiveness.” In our context today, I feel it is imperative that we rediscover the importance of family prayer.

We are increasingly becoming entangled in a culture of ‘busyness’ where we don’t seem to have time for anything or anyone (even God). As we step into this New Year, I wish that every family in the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore resolves to make time for God; commit to the experience of praying together; rediscover the bond of mutual understanding and forgiveness through our family prayer.

I would like to propose a useful biblical model for us in this regard: the model of Joshua and his family. “And Joshua said unto all the people of Israel, ‘Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve,… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Our faith has to mature from a personal conviction to a family experience. We enrich and nourish each other when our faith becomes a shared and living experience than individual piety. It is not enough to pray for each other, we also need to pray with each other.

I would therefore insist with love that our families decide on a time when each member of the family can routinely pray together-before breakfast, right after dinner, or before going to bed. We need to make it a priority and not just an option.

Praying together can heal isolation, selfishness and anger that are increasingly plaguing our family lives today. When we pray as a family, we develop a deeper sense of unity and togetherness. It is certain that when we pray with each other, we start to think more about each other and of the people around us.

May the Holy Family inspire our families to the path of mutual seeking of God and collective holiness. St Joseph and Mother Mary will surely guide us in our resolution. God bless you!

With prayerful wishes,

 

Most Rev. George Antonysamy

Archbishop of Madras - Mylapore