Christ’s teaching that those who love family members more than they love than him are not worthy of him (Mk. 10:37-38) is not intended to denigrate family life, Pope Francis said in his September 2 general audience.
“Jesus, while affirming the primacy of faith in God, describes his disciples as brothers, sisters and mothers to him,” the Pope continued, in the words of the Vatican’s official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “In the Christian life, these family ties are transformed and enlarged; as spiritual fathers and mothers, as brothers and sisters to one another, and particularly to those in need, we bring the Father’s love to our world.”
“Within families, faith becomes a powerful force for unity and love, and inspires a convincing witness to the Gospel,” he added. “How important is this witness in our societies, so often marked by impersonalism and spiritual aridity! Let us pray for our families, and for all families, that, like the wine of the wedding feast of Cana, they may bring happiness, joy and the warmth of God’s love to our world.”