MAGNIFICAT: The week ahead

Pope Francis gives an off-the-cuff address at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (AP)

Our edition of MAGNIFICAT was represented at the festival of families last week in Philadelphia by our managing editor, Tessa Caldecott. Afterwards, she was bubbling over with the experience of hearing Pope Francis’s heartfelt words about family life: “The family has a divine passport, is that clear? The passport that a family has is issued to it by God: so that within its heart, truth, love, and beauty would grow…”

This Sunday’s readings, just as the Synod on the Family opens in Rome, are equally timely. The passage from Genesis 2 (18-24) sets the creation of Eve in the context of Adam’s naming of God’s creatures. His exclamation of joy in the face of the only creature who actually shares his humanity takes this “naming” to a whole new level: “This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh.”

The reading from Hebrews (2:9-11) makes the crucial link between this profound kinship, and the self-gift of Christ. “For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brothers.”

Finally the Gospel (Mark 10:2-16) links Our Lord’s words about the indissolubility of marriage, and the value of children, to whom “the kingdom of heaven belongs”. A reminder, perhaps, that we cannot tackle difficult issues unless we assume the simplicity and straightforwardness of a young child. This may be why the Holy Father keeps setting aside his prepared homilies, speaking instead in spontaneous terms which reveal his pastoral heart. Clearly his overriding aim is to kindle hope, without which any Christian endeavour, or indeed human struggle, becomes impossible.

“Only love is capable of overcoming difficulties. Love is a festival. Love is joy. Love is to keep moving forward.”

Leonie Caldecott is the editor of MAGNIFICAT UK and Ireland

MAGNIFICAT is an easy-to-read pocket-sized worship aid, of more than 400 pages. It can be used to follow the daily Mass and can also be read at home for personal or family prayer. To take up one of our MAGNIFICAT subscription offers, go here.