This event has become a wonderful world celebration to strengthen and promote the value of the family as a Common Good. The family is both a true school of love and faith; it's a domestic church as we see in the Holy family of Nazareth. Whether families attend the event or not, the yearly celebration offers families and parishes all over the word useful spiritual resources. For example, the yearly theme is developed thorough a series of catecheses:
1. The secret of Nazareth
2. The family generates life
3. The family is put to the test
4. The family animates society
5. Work and celebration of the family
6. Work, as a resource for the family
7. Work, a challenge for the family
8. Celebration, a time for the family
9. Celebration, a time for the Lord
10. Celebration, a time for the community
The contents and structure of these activities can be downloaded and used in parishes and in families to guide and to instruct family members about the faith. Parents will see that they have an enormous responsibility to evangelize their children at home and through parish life. In Familiaris Consortio, Blessed John Paul II, reminds us that the family has four important roles in society: Forming a community of persons, serving life, participating in the development of the society and sharing in the life and mission of the Church.
Cardinal Scola, pointed out that the topic chosen for Milan will bring, "together the three fundamental aspects of man's daily life -- family, work and rest -- highlights two major traits ... of human experience all over the world: the uniqueness of individuals and the fact that they are always in relation to others. Thus this 7th World Meeting of Families has interpreted the perennial importance of these questions and of this historical moment."
The Archbishop went on to say, "The family founded on faithful marriage between a man and a woman, and open to life, over the cultural developments that have affected it, still imposes itself as the best way to generate and raise children. In the family, the child ... sees the future as a promise. From infancy we all discover the meaning of work, first as school work and then as a profession. Through work ... we develop complex social relationships ...We discover a taste for building ... but above we gain a sense of reciprocal trust, which is the vital cement of human coexistence."
He concluded with, "Life imposes its rhythm on us. It requires us to establish an order between family affections and work. In doing this we are helped by rest, which marks the rhythm of life ... Celebration is the apex of rest, a gratuitous and shared use of time and space which is the source of joy. Man becomes reconciled with himself, with others and with God. It is no coincidence that all religious traditions have utilized celebration."
The traditional family today is under attack all over the world. For parents, especially new mothers and fathers, who will welcome any reminder and guide about their true vocation, the 7th World Meeting of Families provides that perfect spiritual encouragement and resource. Let's pray for the success of this world encounter for the promotion and support of the family.