Pope Writes on Theme for 9th World Meeting of Families, “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”
The 9th World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26 of 2018. On March 25, 2017, Pope Francis wrote a letter to Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life regarding his journey to Ireland, which will be his first apostolic visit there, and the theme of the World Meeting, “The Gospel of the Family: joy for the world.”
The pope expressed his wishes for families to have a way to “deepen and share” the contents of his post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Gospel is a joy for the world, as is the “good news” of the family, which reflects God’s love for humanity.
“The family…is the ‘yes’ of God’s love,” the Holy Father wrote. God’s love is the starting point for the family and allows the family to love one another and reach out in mercy to others who are wounded and mistreated. It is only from love that the family can “manifest, spread, and regenerate God’s love in the world,” the pope wrote.
He then exhorted families to examine the ways they interact with one another and to strive to live “based on love, for love, and in love.” The pope gave a reminder, one of the refrains of his addresses to married couples and families, to strengthen familial relationships through the use of the words “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry.” While man experiences hurt and fragility, a “renewed humility” of heart within families can offer healing and mercy.
The Holy Father hopes that the Dublin Meeting will offer “concrete signs of…how much Christian families are a place of mercy and witnesses of mercy.” He closed his letter with a special prayer for the members of the archdiocese of Dublin as they prepare for the World Meeting of Families.