In order to prepare our hearts for the World Meeting of Families and the anticipated visit from Pope Francis to the United States, we as a team are reflecting on a catechism on family life entitled, Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive. Each week for the next ten weeks we will reflect on one chapter from this catechism. You can learn more about the World Meeting of Families at WorldMeeting2015.org.
WEEK 1: CREATED FOR JOY – Reflection by: Teresa Duran
In 1993, I was privileged to attend World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado. It was a week-long event for youth and young adults to celebrate their Catholic faith. For me it was a life changing event mostly because of being in Pope John Paul’s presence, the amazing people I journeyed there with, and the theme of the event that stayed with me forever.
The theme was John 10:10 – I came so that they might have life, and have it more abundantly. This theme/verse echoed in my heart that week and still does. That week when I reflected on the theme, it was the very first time that I felt a call on my life, a call to wake up and recognize my reason for existing. I always knew that God existed but this was the first time that I realized that He made me in His image to share in His joy. God was calling me to flourish as His daughter, and to live a full life, a joyful life.
I wish I could say that my life every day has been complete joy and happiness since 1993 but that would be untrue. There has been plenty of hurt, disappointment, sadness, grief, brokenness, loneliness, fear, etc. Luckily, God never has and never will leave me in any of that despair. Through the sacraments, through Jesus, He reminds me that I am created for a purpose, created for joy!
The World Meeting of Families theme is Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive. If our families are to be fully alive we must start with ourselves. With complete trust, we are called to confidently stand and proclaim that we are all created in the image of God and that we are created with a purpose and for a mission.
Important reminders from the World Meeting of Family catechesis –
The “image of God” phrase comes from Genesis. (Gen 1:26-27, 5:1, and 9:6) It suggests that:
- Each individual person is precious, with unique and irreducible dignity.
- We might abuse or use other people or ourselves, but we cannot erase the truth of how God created us.
- The image of God abides in us, no matter what we do to obscure it.
- Having been created in the image of God suggests that our true joy and fulfillment lie in knowing, loving, and serving one another as God does.
(Love Is Our Mission The Family Fully Alive; A preparatory catechesis for the
World Meeting of Families). (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014).
Teresa Duran serves as the Mission Development Director for My Saint My Hero. She is privileged to collaborate with various Catholic organizations and ministries in spreading the faith and glorifying God.
She spends most of her free time at the baseball/softball field cheering for her nieces and nephews. She loves US history and is on a mission to visit all 50 states in the US.
Her favorite saint is St. Pope John Paul II because he held to his strong Catholic convictions and never wavered no matter how much the world or the culture changed. Her favorite My Saint My Hero piece is the Blessings In Faith Bracelet.
Week 8 A Home for the Wounded Heart
Week 7 Light in a Dark World
Week 6 All Love Bears Fruit
Week 5 Creating the Future
Week 4 Two Become One
Week 2 The Mission of Love