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A Sacred Gift
Archbishop Paglia‘s message for the first step in the project "The Great Mystery," in the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

"Man and woman united to form the family: this was ‘a very good thing,‘ God‘s great gift in creation." The family was called to "generate life" and to be "responsible for all of creation." The family, which "together with God must prevail throughout human history, not to prevaricate it, but to serve it, not spoiling it but making it more beautiful." The family, "in the image of God" and, therefore, "sacred," is able to "tell something of God‘s mystery," to "reveal His plan, by manifesting His strength of communion that pushes people to go beyond themselves, collectively and individually." The message sent by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, on the occasion of the concert with Andrea Bocelli, on May 28th in the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona—the first step of the project "The Great Mystery: The Gospel of the Family, School of Humanity for Our Times"—, began with the first chapter of Genesis.
"The Apostle Paul, who reread this primordial mystery in the light of Jesus—said Fr. Andrea Ciucci, while reading the message in the packed church—, sees in the love between a man and a woman Christ‘s love for his Church: the great mystery (cf. Eph 5:32). The family is sacred, every family is sacred, that is "it reveals God" when it "marks God‘s presence in human history, just as the Holy Family of Nazareth brought the Incarnate Word into the world."
"Tonight, we are all invited to place ourselves in some way on God‘s side" in order to "contemplate the beauty of the Holy Family" in this particular context of Gaudi‘s church, where "the entire history of salvation is recapitulated in the story of the Holy Family." A thought was addressed to "all the families of the world, especially to those scarred by the ferocity of history and the selfishness of men;" the evening was offered to "the entire human society that, forgetting the inherent relational nature that characterizes the human being, is in fact condemning him/her to sterile loneliness and sadness. People today need to rediscover themselves, in their loving relations, as brothers and sisters, parents, children, and members of society. In the mystery of love, we can rediscover the filial dimension that makes us all children of God and members of his large family, which—he concluded—is the Church."

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