289. The work of handing on the faith to children, in the sense of facilitating its expression and growth, helps the whole family in its evangelizing mission. It naturally begins to spread the faith to all around them, even outside of the family circle.
On the negative side, I suppose we can ask if a family can’t or doesn’t evangelize its own children, what hope is there for the missionary discipleship for the future?
Children who grew up in missionary families often become missionaries themselves; growing up in warm and friendly families, they learn to relate to the world in this way, without giving up their faith or their convictions.
My problem with the apologetics movement is the inherent presumption of opposition to the faith. Dealing with people in warmth and friendliness isn’t pollyanna or wishful thinking; it is a way of being. The very notion that one has to defend one’s faith sets up the assumption that everyone/many people/a solid minority are attacking it. I don’t find that is true nearly as much as a basic lack of knowledge of what Christianity is about. Even from Christians themselves.
Pope Francis offers the example of the Lord:
We know that Jesus himself ate and drank with sinners (cf. Mk 2:16; Mt 11:19), conversed with a Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4:7-26), received Nicodemus by night (cf. Jn 3:1-21), allowed his feet to be anointed by a prostitute (cf. Lk 7:36-50) and did not hesitate to lay his hands on those who were sick (cf. Mk 1:40-45; 7:33). The same was true of his apostles, who did not look down on others, or cluster together in small and elite groups, cut off from the life of their people. Although the authorities harassed them, they nonetheless enjoyed the favor “of all the people” (Acts 2:47; cf. 4:21, 33; 5:13).
It seems the harassers were the religious leaders or the elites. Not the “usual” suspects: Samaritans, sinners, or sick people.
Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.