One of the most important things I’ve learned so far in my time among you all has been the importance of family. Here we are in the middle of celebrating this thing called family – first Mother’s Day in mid-May, then Father’s Day in mid-June. Moms and Dads are big deals to us, even when we’re teenagers and young adults, and tend to think that they’re not. It just won’t stop being important, either, no matter what happens to us.
The biggest lesson has been that the family connections are EVERYWHERE! The world shrinks, and the connections become “thicker” all the time. This seems to be especially true around Eureka, but I suspect that this “condition” can be found in many, many more places. The places we “come from” and our family connections are in-the-middle-of defining who we are as well as establishing and how we look at the world around us. A daughter of Eureka marries a man in the Kansas City area with whom I worked a few years ago. My grandfather married the parents of one of our members a gazillion years ago in a small town 90 miles west of here.
The things we do as kids with our parents and grandparents and relatives form us in so many ways. The time spent with family continues to form us – not only as young children, but when we become teens, young adults, and even when we are parents and grandparents ourselves, family continue to turn us and shape who we are.
Mothers and fathers have a very special role in making our lives full, because everything – even and I’d say especially our eternal lives – revolve around family. Life all started with the creation as recorded in Genesis, and will run through the end of time with the last book – the Revelation of St. John. The images and meanings of family show up everywhere, but perhaps most clearly in the image of our Father, our Brother (Christ), and our Mother, the Bride of Christ, the Church. The Forgiven. The Justified.
Just as families in the world can be messy, the family of the Church can be messy as we go through life here. But unlike our human families, we have Christ. He has promised to purify His Bride and present her to Himself in splendor, that she might be without spot or wrinkle; that she might be holy and without blemish. You, too, are part of this Church that is being purified. We’re all being purified in Christ. As a family. He’s taking care of it. Be with the family. It might be messy, but it’s your family. It’s where you are meant to be.