183. A married couple who experience the power of love know that this love is called to bind the wounds of the outcast, to foster a culture of encounter and to fight for justice. God has given the family the job of “domesticating” the world (Cf. Catechesis (16 September 2015)) and helping each person to see fellow human beings as brothers and sisters.
The family works not for the culture, but against its darker impulses. A longer citation from one of the Holy Father’s addresses a few weeks later, acknowledges that the struggle goes two ways. Often aspects of our culture work against what is “fundamentally human”:
“An attentive look at the everyday life of today’s men and women immediately shows the omnipresent need for a healthy injection of family spirit… Not only is the organization of ordinary life increasingly thwarted by a bureaucracy completely removed from fundamental human bonds, but even social and political mores show signs of degradation”.(Catechesis (7 October 2015))
Pope Francis doesn’t advocate a self-promotion of families. The family may be under duress, but our mission still includes reaching out to those who are even more plundered by misfortune. It is, after all, basic Gospel:
For their part, open and caring families find a place for the poor and build friendships with those less fortunate than themselves. In their efforts to live according to the Gospel, they are mindful of Jesus’ words: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me (Mt 25:40)”. In a very real way, their lives express what is asked of us all: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbours, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed” (Lk 14:12-14). You will be blessed! Here is the secret to a happy family.