The “domestic church,” a term that we hear a lot from our pastors today, is not something new in the world of the Catholic faith. Yet, thinking about what it is and what it means generates a thrill in our souls. It is like a special call from God given to us as parents, though it clearly did not begin with us, but rather, came from the first Christians and has been carried deep within our lineage thanks to our parents and ancestors. We define it with this short passage from the New Testament, “Crispus, the leader of the Synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his family.” (Acts 18:8) The universal Church is, therefore, a great family, made up of many smaller families. It is the origin of our faith which we must pass on to our children.
By incarnating himself and growing within the Holy Family of Joseph and Mary, we see how God, himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, demonstrated for us the importance of family in his plan for salvation. Jesus spent thirty years (the majority of his time here on Earth!) in the hidden and ordinary life with his adoptive Father and his Immaculate Mother. To all those men and women whom God has given the vocation of parenthood, we announce a supernatural call to form God’s domestic church. As the catechism of the Holy Mother Church teaches, “believing families have primary importance as beacons of a living and radiating faith.” (CCC 1656) This is precisely what our domestic church must cultivate daily, being the first announcers of the faith by word and example and true missionaries of the marital vocation of love for the family.
This love parents give their children becomes the leaven of the Church. Though we, ourselves, have only been married for two years, our domestic church (which is of Jesus Christ!) is flourishing with our 15-month-old baby and it continues to grow as we await the arrival of a second baby, our son: Joaquín de Jesús. We now have a better understanding and appreciation for the passage in Luke 12:48 where it states, “To whom much was given, much will be required; and to whom much is entrusted, more will be asked.” There are two souls that the Lord has entrusted to us, and that’s a lot! Living up to the challenges of this vocation is not easy! It requires dedication and grace from God.
Pope Pious XI, in his famous encyclical letter, Casti Connubii, names the marriage’s graces, the first of which is the child, adding: “God wanted, benignly, to use men and women as cooperators in the propagation of life” (¶ 11) so that they might “grow and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) Our Church does not, however, strive simply to be numerous, but rather, in the words of this Supreme Pontiff, to “graft new descendants into the Church of Christ, to procreate citizens of the Saints and relatives of God, so that every day the people dedicated to the worship of our God and Savior grow more.” In other words, we are to strive to form a family of saints of God! It is a big responsibility!
Let us therefore entrust our universal Church and our domestic church to the custodian of the Church, Saint Joseph, and to his wife, Saint Mary, who is mother and queen of the family. We turn to them to fill our children with virtues, purify their souls and convert them into faithful followers of our Lord, the supreme shepherd of our domestic church. Families love each other, love each other very much, as Christ loves his Church. With this example, we will together bring the message of truth to all of God’s children who need to see and hear that there is hope; the hope that is lived in families through Christ who sanctifies them.
Long live Christ the King!
Juan and Sofia were born into Catholic families in Colombia, South America. They met on Juan’s Patron Saint Feast Day, Saint John Bosco, January 31st and recently got married on the 31st of July. Both have encountered Jesus in their lives and decided to follow him with great commitment.
Juan is a Political Scientist and also a great golfer. He works in the Wine and Spirits Industry.
Sofia is a commercial real estate lawyer and works at her family-owned business. They currently live in Cali, Colombia.
Juan and Sofia are increasingly passionate about the apostolic mission with the youth and young professionals. They are committed to showing the love of God and his mysteries through the beauty of the sacrament of marriage and friendship. Both have lived their conversion through different spiritualities within the Church, such as the charismatic renewal, parish groups (Emaus and Effeta), Mana (a self-founded apostolic group) and Opus Dei. This last one is currently where both congregate and receive all their spiritual formation and guidance. Although they have much to learn, they are eager to share their testimony with all the readers.