Third Sunday of Ord. Time
25th January 2015
The Call, the Journey and the Mission:
an invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales
to reflect on the gift of Marriage and Family Life
In this week’s Gospel we hear Mark’s version of the call of the first disciples of Jesus. They were fishermen, but Jesus called them to join in his search for people. By our baptism each of us is called to be a follower of Jesus. There are many different ways of following Jesus: it can involve different roles and different ways of life. Paul advised the Corinthians against getting married, because he believed the world was going to end very soon, but most of us will be married and all of us experience family life in one way or another. Pope Francis describes marriage and family life as a call, a journey and a mission and he has asked the whole Church to reflect on this gift: how we proclaim it, how we live it and how we support each other, especially when family life is difficult. Our Bishops’ Conference has prepared discussion material to help us to do this.
For six weeks during Lent and one week after Easter, we will respond to the bishops’ invitation by having as many groups as we can reflecting on marriage and family life in the light of our own experience, the scriptures and the Church’s teaching.
Sharing, reflecting and praying together will help us to grow in our relationships with each other and with God and the feedback we provide at the end will help the Bishops at next year’s Synod on Marriage and Family Life to decide how the Church can support us better.
The bishops want to hear everyone’s views, whatever your experience of family life is: whether you are young, middle-aged or old; single, married, living with a partner, separated, divorced, re-married or in a same-sex relationship.
Our first step is to find volunteers to host a group, at home or elsewhere, at any time of the day or week, for the six weeks of Lent and one week after Easter. All the discussion materials will be provided and no previous experience is needed. The only requirement is that you will not allow anyone to feel judged or criticised. Please think about whether you could do that.
Next weekend, at all the Masses, we will be collecting the names and contact details of those who are willing to lead a group.