TMA 4 Module 7 – TRINITY AND THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
What is a Family? Family is a basic unit of society. Family is a basic community.
For the Church, family is the smallest realization of the Church, family is a Church in miniature (FC 49), family is the Church in the home, family is a domestic Church (LG 11)
As the Church comes from and is modeled after the Trinity (CCC 2205), so, too the family comes from the Trinity and is modeled after the Trinity.
THE TRINITY, SOURCE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
|MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY IN THEOLD TESTAMENT||MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT|
|Marriage is the foundation of the family.· Family originates from God
· Family is divinely instituted
|Christian marriage is a sacrament.· Founded by Christ
· Instituted by Christ
|Marriage is willed by God.· Marriage and family belong to God’s plan for humanity.
· Marriage and family are natural to human beings
· Marriage and family are natural institutions
|Christ instituted Christian marriage as a covenant and with it the Christian family.· Christian marriage prefigures the mysterious union of Christ and his Church
· It also symbolizes the mysterious union of husband and wife.
|God so loved his people and depicted his love· As the love of the bridegroom for his bride
· He is the Bridegroom and Israel is his wife.
|Christ, Son of God so loved his Church that he depicted his love· As the love of the bridegroom for his bride
· He is the Bridegroom and the Church is his wife. (Eph. 5:25-30)
THE FAMILY AND THE HOLY TRINITY
Christian marriage and the Christian family are deeply rooted in the Trinity. They are gifts from the Triune God. They are products of the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the fellowship accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
Marriage and the Christian family are not only natural but supernatural realities. They also speak of the Triune God’s intervention in human history.
The Trinity intervenes in every Christian marriage and family. Marriage is a vocation, a call by God to a person. This call is not only to get married, but to get married precisely to one particular person.
The Christian marriage the couple enters into is a marriage in the Lord. In their mutual giving and receiving of each other, they are bound by Christ to a lifetime union. They channel grace to each other through life.
In their marriage the Christian couple reveals and dramatizes the love of Christ for his Church and the Church’s love for her Lord (cf. FC 13). Their children will not only be theirs but children of the Lord. At baptism their children and they will form together with Christ a family of God.
The Holy Spirit also enters into the marriage covenant and the Christian family. The love which the Christian couples love each other is charity, the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. FC 21). The life that they are to share together is the life of grace, which the Holy Spirit gives (cf. FC 21). Thus the couple are tasked to build a communion of persons together with their children. This communion is a communion in grace, a sharing in the life of the Trinity itself.
During the marriage ceremony, the priest, by the authority of the Church, confirms and blesses the marriage which the couple have contracted: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
And so, in the lives of each Christian couple and family, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is at work, preparing for the union of the couple, accomplishing the marriage, and sanctifying it and the family that issues from it. The Christian family is the creation of the Triune God. The Trinity is the source of the life of the Christian family. Christian family life is a sharing in the life of the Trinity.
THE TRINITY, MODEL OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
The Trinity is the exemplar of the Christian family. Now we must take a close look at the Trinity to see how the Christian family must be.
We believe in one God. Thus the Christian family, patterned after the Trinity, must also be one, the members being united to each other as one community. The Christian family is tasked to form a community of persons. (Monogamy fosters this unity. Polygamy and polyandry militate against it. Infidelity harms this unity. Divorce destroys it.)
We also believe that there are three really distinct persons in God. And so, in the Christian family modeled after the Holy Trinity, the differences among the members must not only be tolerated but must be respected and loved. (Each member of the Christian family has a different gift, a different charism.)
In the Trinity, all three divine persons are equal to each other, though they are really distinct from one another. Can we speak of equality among the members of the Christian family?
In the Trinity there is a “common owning of the divine substance” and a communication in the divine persons. In the Trinity there is an eternal communication of life and an interchange of love so that the Father gives to the Son life and everything that he has except his being Father, and the Son gives back to the Father everything that he has received from the Father except his being Son. This reciprocal giving is done in the unity of the Holy Spirit, who serves as the bond of communion between the Father and the Son.
In the Christian family modeled after the Trinity there must be a constant sharing of life, of resources and of activities, all done in love. The communion between husband and wife must be extended to every child that is born into the family. This communion is nurtured by family dialogue and the sharing of thought, resources, prayer and activities.
The Trinitarian life is not only internal communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit but also an outreach into the world which is expressed in the two-fold mission of salvation and sanctification.
So also, the Christian family should not be a closed family. It should be involved in various tasks such as: a) serving life and building a communion of persons, b) sharing in the life and mission of the Church, and c) participating in the development of society (FC 17). The family is the first school of evangelization, where the family members evangelize one another, and then together evangelize society.
CHALLENGES TO THE CHRISTIAN/FILIPINO FAMILY
1. Challenge to serve life. The Church and the Christian family should be the main proponents of responsible parenthood.
2. Challenge to protect and nurture every human life. Beware of anti-life bills.
3. Challenge to protect the unity of the Christian family. Pressure of poverty, failed marriages and divorce.
4. Challenge to adopt pro-active attitude:
· Set up Pre-Cana Programs
· Foster pro-family movements
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