Our family makes us who we are.
That phrase might be a little overstated, but it cannot be denied that our families have huge effects on us, and can direct the course of our lives in a huge way.
As we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day during this time of year, we also have an opportunity to remember the great influence our parents have upon us, sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. I grew up in a practicing Catholic family, and my faith is still important to me. I grew up a Midwesterner, and I will remain one (even if I love traveling away sometimes). Our family grew up watching dad play and coach sports, and sports have always been a part of my life. On the other hand, I know my family wasn't perfect growing up and it certainly isn't perfect today. I had nights of tears, I fought with my brothers and sisters to the point of blood, and my family suffered the effects of old grudges and wounds among parents' siblings. But in the long run, I know, and am very grateful, that I was blessed to have the family I had.
And while I have been working through the fact that I am leaving this parish in just over 3 weeks, I thank God that I have been a part of this family. You guys have left lasting effects on me, and I am eternally grateful. Like I said, our families have very deep effects on us.
Now the mystery of the Trinity relates to this idea family. For the center of the universe, the start of it all, God Himself, is love, and God is in a certain sense a family kind of love. Three divine persons in perfect communion. Our families, including the parish family, are meant to reflect that communion of God Himself.
And when we are baptized, we enter into God's family. The divine family becomes our own. We are united to God the son, Jesus Christ. We become God's adopted sons and daughters as we heard Saint Paul mention in the second reading.
And as I said, families have a huge effect on us, we ourselves are called to find our identity there above all else. So it doesn't matter how good or bad our earthly families were or are. Here in the Church we are part of God's one family. The deeper we immerse ourselves into this mystery, the more we become what we were always meant to be: members of God's heavenly family. As we approach the altar as brothers and sisters in Christ, may our prayer today be that we can fully live out the truth of our adoption into the divine family of the Trinity, so that our heavenly family can transform us.