Islands of faith
By Deacon John Brasley / Catholic Courier    |    07.08.2014
Category: To Have and To Hold

In the early church, several stories in the Acts of the Apostles tell us that entire families and households found salvation in Jesus Christ. For example, an angel told Cornelius, the first Gentile Christian, to send for Peter so that "all your household will be saved" (Acts 11:14).

Paul and Silas preached the Gospel to their former jailer. "Then he and all his family were baptized at once" (Acts 16:33).

In the city of Corinth, "Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household" (Acts 18:8).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world" (No. 1655). As the first Christian families were islands of faith in their time, so Catholic families today are called to be beacons of faith, "centers of living, radiant faith" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1656).

According to St. John Paul II, "The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason. ... It can and should be called a domestic church" (Familiaris Consortio, No. 21). As the church is a community of faith, hope and love, so the Christian family, as the domestic church, is called to be a community of faith, hope and love.

In our families, we can live this out by nurturing the vocation of each of our children, by setting an example of how we live our vocation to married life, and by taking special care if a child might be called to priesthood or consecrated life. We can take seriously our commitment to take our children with us to Mass and to pass along our love for the sacraments. We also can show them how we strive always to obey God’s commandments and to live a Christian life of holiness.

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