“To find love is to find a reason to give one's life.”
On Saturday, May 27, a mass for families was celebrated at the Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, a "Pentecost of Families". Families from Montreal and surrounding areas gathered to give thanks for the gift of life, and to invoke the Holy Spirit to inspire and strengthen families in their unity and gift of self. The pews were decorated with doves of different colors to mark the festive character of this Pentecost feast, when the Spirit brings together in spiritual joy the different members of one and the same Body.
In his bilingual homily (beginning at 26:50), Archbishop Lépine emphasized that it was God who invented the family. As the basic structure of our humanity, the family is a precious gift for which we must give thanks. Msgr. Lépine went on to reaffirm that love is at the heart of human nature; men and women naturally seek a reason to give their lives for love. To find love is to find a reason to give one's life. Of course, love has different meanings; we don't love sugar pie the same way we love a person, as Archbishop Lépine humorously pointed out! For human beings, love means "giving oneself forever." We give our lives for a person, not for a thing.
At the same time, love is a “very demanding", because it's not easy to remain faithful to that love. Giving oneself forever requires giving oneself every day. Marriage is both a lifelong commitment and a grace freely offered. It is a precious gift from God. Faithfulness in family relationships bears many fruits: family wounds can be overcome and healed by the grace of unconditional love, which opens the way to dialogue and gives the strength to forgive. Spouses, through their united and fruitful lives, become a sign of God's love for the Church. God's love is not a project, it's a reality. All we need to do is open our hearts to see and hear this Love at work in the everyday life of our families. God allows complex and difficult family situations to be renewed by the breath of his Spirit, which enables forgiveness and reconciliation.
During this Pentecost of Families Mass, we also asked for the courage to announce to today's world the beauty of God's plan for the family. The world so desperately needs to hear this affirmation that unfailing love exists! So many of the paths proposed by our society can lead us astray from the true beauty of the family, which is founded in the natural order of our beings, who are created to make a gift of ourselves.
After this celebration, the festivities continued with an outdoor picnic where we enjoyed each other’s company with games and face painting. Please visit the photo gallery! People were present from different communities in our diocese: Vietnamese, Latin American, Portuguese, French and English sectors, and even friends from the North Shore. The Holy Spirit unites us all together!
Many curious passers-by stopped to watch us play a game of "Bolas" on the cathedral grounds. On the eve of Pentecost, the atmosphere was festive, and the Church family was on hand to welcome the Spirit who brings us together in unity.
To find out more about the Diocesan Center for Marriage, Life and Family and to discover all the resources available, including marriage preparation, marriage enrichment and for divorced, separated, remarried and single parents, please visit us on the diocesan website!