Amoris Laetitia 21: The Gospel Witness

amoris laetitia memePope Francis pours out several Gospel accounts, real-life or in parable, that witness to the Lord’s connection to and affection for the family in need:

21. Jesus himself was born into a modest family that soon had to flee to a foreign land. He visits the home of Peter, whose mother-in-law is ill (cf. Mk 1:30-31) and shows sympathy upon hearing of deaths in the homes of Jairus and Lazarus (cf. Mk 5:22-24, 35-43; Jn 11:1-44). He hears the desperate wailing of the widow of Nain for her dead son (cf. Lk 7:11-15) and heeds the plea of the father of an epileptic child in a small country town (cf. Mk 9:17-27). He goes to the homes of tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus (cf. Mt 9:9-13; Lk 19:1-10), and speaks to sinners like the woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee (cf. Lk 7:36-50). Jesus knows the anxieties and tensions experienced by families and he weaves them into his parables: children who leave home to seek adventure (cf. Lk 15:11-32), or who prove troublesome (Mt 21:28-31) or fall prey to violence (Mk 12:1-9). He is also sensitive to the embarrassment caused by the lack of wine at a wedding feast (Jn 2:1-10), the failure of guests to come to a banquet (Mt 22:1-10), and the anxiety of a poor family over the loss of a coin (Lk 15:8-10).

I interpret this to be more than just a litany of Scripture passages for reflection, though it could be that. This is an aspect of “low christology” in which the Lord is very much aware of his earthly surroundings. Those surroundings are not irrelevant to his heart. The trials of human families, large or small, are not unknown to his mercy. Does that imply we should take hope and confidence from his gaze upon us? That’s how I would read it. What about you?

Check Amoris Laetitia online in pdf format for the full text of the document.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Amoris Laetitia 21: The Gospel Witness

  1. Liam says:

    An aside about Christology: after my Lenten cursus through all the Gospels (currently reading through Acts for Eastertide), the low vs high Christology distinction (especially using Mark contrasted with John) as commonly taught in academic settings (I did my share) is less and less convincing than I remembered it being when first learned it. Perhaps my age, and more complex sense of personality/narrative accumulated thereby, contributes to this shift in perspective and openness to being struck by wholeness and continuity where others are more struck by difference.

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