Family: a living reflection of the Trinity

Pope Francis, in The Joy of Love, reflects on the Trinity and family.

He writes: “The Trinity is Father, Son and Spirit of love. God is a communion of love, and the family is its living reflection.” [11]

But how can our families, with all their imperfections and challenges be a living reflection of the Trinity?

For Pope Francis recognises that families don’t drop down from heaven perfectly formed, rather families live in many different situations and face many different challenges and struggles every day.

So, just how can families be a reflection of God in the Trinity? Let’s think about the Trinity a little more.

Usually, when we try to understand how God can be three and one at the same time, our explanations tend to focus on the Trinity as some sort of mathematical problem.

Or sometimes it can seem that the Trinity is a complete mystery – something that can only be expressed through abstract shapes and images. But, as Pope Francis reminds us, God is not a series of abstract ideas. Rather, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is a community of love each loving the other with a love that is perfectly given and perfectly received. This beautiful life-giving flow of love in the Trinity has been described as a divine dance.

Since we are made in God’s image, we too can be part of this dance: for we are made to love, and be loved. God’s dream for our families is that we mirror this wonderful dance of love by the love we give and receive in our own families.

But of course, families live in the real world, with daily challenges that can put a stress on the family circle. But if we remain in this flow of love despite the obstacles we face then the family circle can even be strengthened through these daily challenges.

It’s when the flow of love stops. When we don’t let go or forgive each other, relationships can quickly fall apart and the family circle can begin to disintegrate. This can happen even over the smallest of things.

This is why Pope Francis shows us that to find the joy of love we all need to rekindle the simple practice of forgiving daily and letting go.

If we never let the day end without making peace, even with a small gesture, a little caress, harmony in the family can be restored and the circle of love flows again.

That’s why, even in all our imperfections and messiness, families can be a living reflection of the Trinity.

Category: Family
About The Author
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Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families. Families and others from all over the world will gather in Dublin from 21-26 August 2018 to celebrate their lives together, to share their experiences from different parts of the world, to reflect on the different challenges they face and to grow together in faith.  The chosen by Pope Francis for WMOF2018 is The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.

See www.worldmeeting2018.ie