“Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
In 1979 Sister Sledge recorded and released the dance song “We Are Family” The song eventually reached number one on the disco charts. It was also the theme song for the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. The song’s authors, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards composed it based on how a record executive described Sister Sledge (who are actually four sisters). The song is an expression of family and general solidarity. It is also the anthem of the We Are Family Foundation, which is named after the song. The foundation, established after the 9/11 attacks, works to educate people about mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity.
The model of the Holy Family is a model for the entire Church as the family of Christ. This concept of family solidarity did not just start in 1979 – it starts with God from the beginning of time.
Paul wrote of life in the family of faith. Paul cared deeply for the Churches he established, but not only. His care was for the entire Church. He knew that the Church is the body of Christ and we are all joined together as one family. When the Church at Jerusalem was in need, Paul went to his people to encourage their charity toward their family in the faith. Paul’s focus on life in the family of faith is summarized in his letter to the Galatians where he says: “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”
Doing good to all sows the seeds of faith among those who do not know Jesus. They can only come to know Him and enter His family if we offer love and welcome. We need to do this in this time of opportunity. Our family of faith, both at home and in the Church must model true life in Christ. What we live as the Christian family sends the strongest message.
Let our life at home and in Church be holy – holy and loving as one true family – and thus a shining light to all.