"Today we see how, on different fronts, the family is weakened and questioned. It is regarded as a superseded model that no longer has a place in our societies, which, under the influence of modernity, increasingly prefer a model based on isolation." So, "it is true that family life is not always easy and can often be painful and stressful but, as I have often said with regard to the Church, I prefer a wounded family that daily strives to live with love, to a society that, sick from isolationism and comfort, is afraid of love."
Pope Francis spoke these words yesterday during the meeting with families in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in the state of Chiapas, where a celebrating crowd of 50,000 welcomed him. "I Prefer—said Francis—a family that makes repeated efforts to start again, to a society that is narcissistic and obsessed with luxury and comfort. I prefer a family whose face is worn by sacrifice to faces covered with make-up who know nothing about love and compassion."
Among the testimonies was that of Humberto and Claudia Gomez, a divorced and remarried couple, who described their experience: Humberto was previously unmarried, and Claudia was divorced with three children. Civilly married for 16 years, they also have a child who, now at age 11, is an altar boy. For three years they have been members of a group of remarried divorcees accompanied by the Church. "As remarried divorcees, we do not have access to the Eucharist—said Humberto, also on behalf of his wife, who is a social worker in a prison—, but communion is found in the poor, the sick and the abandoned. We try to transmit the love of God that we have experienced. It is wonderful to have a marriage and a family, in which the center is God," they concluded, before the Pope held them in a long embrace.
At the conclusion of the event, Francis asked those present to renew their marriage vows in their hearts; he told engaged couples to "ask for the grace of a faithful family;" and he urged everyone not to forget St. Joseph, the faithful and silent guardian of the family.