An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

An Ear to the People: Evangelii Gaudium, Marriage and Family

thumb-02Lessons from Evangelii Gaudium #10
Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world, Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel,” has many points that are relevant to the work of Marriage: Unique for a Reason.  This series will explore some of these themes and apply Pope Francis’s words to the culture of marriage and family in the United States.

An Ear to the People (no. 154-155)

In the preceding sections of Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father turned his mind to the challenges of preaching homilies that reach the people.  In this section, he encourages a priest to, “keep his ear to the people and to discover what it is that the faithful need to hear” (no. 154).  In contemplating the Biblical text and prayerfully preparing words for a given Mass, the priest is asked to keep in mind the actual people before him; their language, culture, formation, and journey. He advocates for a “profound sensitivity” to what the people are going through, noting that, “we should never respond to questions that nobody asks” (no. 155).

While Pope Francis wrote this section for priests and bishops who address the faithful through formal preaching, it is also applicable to family life.  Parents as the primary educators of their children are called to a similar thoughtful discernment and sensitivity to what they may need to hear at a given time. As events arise inside and outside of the family, parents must determine what and how to share news with their children in ways that are appropriate to their age and temperament.

How “in tune” are you to what is going on in your children’s lives? Are you confident that you are actively seeking to guide them with the help of the Holy Spirit?

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