The Vatican

Gabriella Gambino: "Rediscovering the evangelizing power of the family".

Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, considers family "a direct witness to Christ's presence in ordinary life and to his redemptive power"..

Giovanni Tridente-April 12, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

The awareness of the "evangelizing power of the familyis underdeveloped in many ecclesial contexts and this limits the true realization of its "mission".apostolic dimension"which the Second Vatican Council had already indicated well in Lumen Gentiumby calling "special sacramentThe "school par excellence of the lay apostolate" of marriage and family life.

This was explained by Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, at the Conference on "The Laity, the Family and Life". The family as the primary subject of evangelizationpromoted by the Center for Legal Studies on the Family, at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Integral pastoral care

According to the professor, one of the solutions to implement this type of "integral ecclesiology" - which recognizes a true active role for spouses and families Christian communities - is to initiate an "integral pastoral care" based on the recognition of an effective "co-responsibility" between laity and pastors, families and pastors, so that a better understanding of the "the irreplaceable task that God confers on the 'domestic Church' in the mission of proclamation/witnessing of the kerygma"This is still difficult to understand in many ecclesial contexts.

According to the undersecretary, the importance of placing at the center of the evangelizing mission the "domestic Church" - families of people united to God and united to each other through the sacramental life of the Church - allows us to better understand that there is a first "mission territory" that is exercised starting from the relationships between spouses, parents and children, outside and in the relationships with other families.

Apostolic dimension

This "apostolic dimension" is intrinsic to the family itself, and it is "is continually regenerated in the nuptial sacrament, a vibrant place of Christ's presence.The Gospel message then permeates every daily action of parents and children, "...".forming everyone in the Christian virtues and permeating the various contexts of life with a lived and interwoven testimony of faith and Christian values.".

It should not be forgotten underlines Gambino, which "the family is a direct witness to Christ's presence in ordinary life and to his redemptive power.while the marriage bond that unites the spouses represents "...".his first missionary act", since "are chosen and sent to be one flesh in Christ"thus acquiring an ecclesial meaning.

The beauty of partnership

One of the announcements that must come from the family is the beauty that springs precisely from the union of the couple: "The beauty that comes from the union of the couple is the beauty that comes from the union of the is before her that one is amazed by the greatness of the great mystery"because it is the union itself "the one that gives harmony and peace to those who look and approach". Herein also lies the specificity of the "sexual difference" that precisely in marriage "...".becomes a sacrament"The announcement is given precisely by the "....physical and psychological structure of being male and female".

Educational Mission

Instead, the first mission takes place, according to the undersecretary of the Dicastery, within the family itself through the education of children, who must be accompanied with patience to discern their vocation in the world, as well as ".discovering the love with which they have been desired by a Father who calls them to fulfill a mission in history". A task from which the whole ecclesial community certainly cannot be exempt, which must form and accompany spouses in this "...".apostolic call in one's own couple".

Gambino then presented a proposal for the many house churches to "take actionthrough a pastoral care that no longer makes families "...".passive recipients of services and catechesis"but to encourage them to be themselves".subjects and protagonists of a pastoral ministry in which they should be able to feel involved."Thus mutually assuming the responsibility of evangelization with the constant help of the pastors.

Liturgy of family life

It is necessary to make families discover that Christian life is not limited only to parish attendance or the formal reception of the sacraments, but that it begins in fact already "at home"to such an extent that every day-to-day activity could constitute a real "liturgy of family life".marked by the "relationship practice(love, respect, listening...), of the "love, respect, listening..." (love, respect, listening...), of the "practice of family rites(with Christian attitudes at work, in family relationships, in prayer...), and the practice of "Christianity".giving one's own help and time to others".

To train families to live this ".liturgyspecial," said Gambino, "it represents at last".a concrete way to form the minds, consciences, hearts and daily behavior of spouses and their children to a truly Christian lifestyle". Also because, he concluded, the Gospel itself, by its historicity, is in itself a family event.

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