This week, we reflect on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to the United States through the eyes of our diocesan family.
By: Therese Bermpohl, Director of the Office for Family Life
What a privilege it was to attend the 2015 World Meeting of Families (WMF) with more than 15,000 Catholics who traveled from around the globe to Philadelphia to celebrate the family. There are no words to describe what it was like to roam the streets of downtown Philly amid the throngs of like-minded people sporting their colorful green badges. How comforting it was to know that the all these people shared a similar love of God, the Church and the family.
The WMF speakers read like a “Who’s Who” of Catholics. Each was inspiring and I encourage you to listen to them all, but it was the newly installed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Robert Barron, the lead-off keynote, who knocked it out of the park with his opening remarks on the “imago Dei,” the “image of God.”
“Our prophetic responsibility is to proclaim the truth to the ends of the earth. We are not simply representatives of God for our own sake but for that of the world.”
“To say that we are made in the Image of God is to say we have a mission to praise God aright, to speak the truth of God according to God’s Logos.”
“The law is not the enemy of freedom it is the condition for the possibility of freedom.”
“The law is read often as if we are the Church of ‘no’ but the ‘no’ is always in service of a much greater and more abiding yes.”
“Part of the Imago Dei is to engage in prophetic speech precisely for the sake of the world…If we stop speaking, it won’t be heard.” “That is the prophetical call!”
“When it comes to things we take seriously, we love the law. This is the ground for our prophetic confidence. There are objective moral values and we need to keep saying it to a world that has gone deaf to it.”
“The Church’s extravagant demand… is coupled with an extravagant mercy. Don’t drive a wedge between the two…Moral demand all the way…Mercy all the way. That is the prophetic speech of the Church.”
“Authentic Christianity is a religion on the march…it is meant to be brought out to the world. Mind you, the minute that we do with this with aggression, violence or hatred, we are undermining ourselves because the God we are announcing is the God of Love.”
“The family is the place where the imago Dei is burnished… brought to life…where we are taught to be priests, prophets and kings. Families that pray together…Go to Mass together, parents that bless their kids before they go to bed at night…that is a family learning right praise and that family can now go out into the world and teach right praise.”
“We are emissaries of the great king and we carry his image out to the world ….Do it confidently as priests, teaching right praise,…as prophets, speaking truth….as kings people on mission, people on the march!”
I think that Bishop Barron’s remarks truly captured the spirit of the World Meeting of Families and I praise God for giving us leaders who teach with clarity, humility, and love.
Follow the Catholic Diocese of Arlington on our platforms: