“In marriage love evokes love, love nurtures love, love calls for love, love is fulfilled by love. Love feeds on love, love is strengthened by love. Love generates love”, Archbishop Tlhagale said in his homily June 25.
He added in reference to love, “At times, it simply leaves us in a state of awe; love thrives when expressed in full measure. Love hungers after love and if it is not returned, it diminishes but never dies; love remains.”
The Archdiocese of Johannesburg held the Ministry and Vocations Fair for families June 25 in response to the invitation of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life that every Diocese worldwide hosts local initiatives to mark the 10th edition of the World Meeting of Families.
Making reference to the theme of the 10th edition of the World Meeting of Families, “Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness”, Archbishop Tlhagale said being a member of a family is a vocation, and that mutual care needs to be fostered at family level.
“Scripture says there's nothing superior in loving those who love you… There's nothing less than superior, nothing admirable, nothing great about loving people who love you”, he said in reference to St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
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“Perhaps we need to say the opposite”, the South African Archbishop went on to say, and explained, “There will always be something greater when you love those who love you. It will always be superior, because when you are a member of a family, that is your vocation: to love those around you, to fulfill them in their love, because in fulfilling their love, you fulfill your own vocation as a member of the family.”
The 74-year-old Archbishop encouraged families to “consider from time to time” going for spiritual retreats together to revive their spirituality.
“Families should probably consider from time to time to go on a family retreat to self-medicate spiritually, for a family’s spiritual growth,” he said, adding that “in doing so one would then be maintaining spiritual health as a family, spiritual stability as a family, and above all, peace in the family.”
Archbishop Tlhagale encouraged families to read Papal documents such as Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia and Merciful Judge, Pope John Paul II’s letter on the family in the modern world, Familiaris Consortio.
“I would strongly recommend that each family should have these little booklets that can be read from time to time so as to renew the commitment of members of the family,” Archbishop Tlhagale told ACI Africa during the June 25 interview.
Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.