The Church in the United States is a community of faith that is composed of members of many different cultures. Respect, understanding, and openness to this diversity is key to assisting all in having a personal encounter with Christ and growing as missionary disciples. True hospitality extends to all members of the community: new and established parishioners, especially children and youth, young adults, the newly married and parents, the divorced or widowed, immigrants, those seeking assistance, and those who feel alienated from the Church. A sense of welcome is fostered by warm words from the pastor, offering Mass and the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation at convenient times, ensuring accessibility of worship and inclusion for those with physical and mental disabilities, and using multiple languages, where needed. Disciples find communion in their families, their parish, and relationships with others.
Questions for Reflection:
- How do we cultivate a communal and missionary spirit within our family?
- Are there areas that we need to work on to strengthen our family as a community of faith?
- In what ways can we offer more ongoing formation and support of family life?
- How can we become a more welcoming parish community? Where are the areas for growth?
Next week: What does it mean to be sent?