By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Look at each other, not just your phones, when sitting together at home…

Communicate well with one another…

Pope Francis gave this suggestion Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, on the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. His words came in the midst of the Christmas Octave following his midday Angelus address with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Wishing everyone a good and peaceful New Year, Francis pleaded that everyone end the year in peace, and with peace in one’s heart.

“And in the family,” he said on their feast day, “communicating with one another.”

This call for modern-day families to communicate better, was at the forefront of the Pope’s remarks as he spoke about the Holy Family and their openness to follow God’s will, trusting Him always.

When Mary, Francis said, “realized that God was calling her to a particular mission, she didn’t hesitate to proclaim herself His “handmaid” (Cf. Luke 1:38). Jesus would exalt her grandeur not so much for her role as mother, but for her obedience to God.”

“Mary, Joseph and Jesus: the Holy Family of Nazareth,” Francis said, “represents a unanimous response to the Father’s will,” noting “the three components of this singular family help one another mutually to discover and realize God’s plan.”

He said they prayed, worked and communicated.

“And I wonder,” Francis pondered: “in your family, are you able to communicate or are you like those kids at table, each one with his mobile phone while they are chatting?”

Francis lamented that often at the table, there seems to be a silence “as if they were at Mass.” He noted there is no communication with one another.

“We must,” Francis challenged, “take up again conversation in the family: fathers, parents, children, grandparents and brothers must communicate with one another . . .”

“This is a task to do today, precisely on the day of the Holy Family,” he said, praying: “May the Holy Family be the model of our families, so that parents and children support one another in adherence to the Gospel, foundation of the family’s holiness.”

“We entrust to Mary, ‘Queen of the Family,’” Pope Francis said, “all the world’s families, especially those tried by suffering and hardship, and we invoke upon them Her maternal protection.”

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