Solidarity in diversity in the family

The KL Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) organised a webinar on the topic, HOPE: Believe, Live & Give in conjunction with the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral February Theme Solidarity in Diversity in family life.

Feb 27, 2021

By Joshua Vinod Balakrishnan, Joseph and Anita Pragasam
The KL Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) organised a webinar on the topic, HOPE: Believe, Live & Give in conjunction with the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral February Theme Solidarity in Diversity in family life.

The moderators were Robert & Shelah Basker, Chaircouple of AFLC. The panel of speakers were Fr Jude Nirmal Doss, a professor at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Banga lore, India, Sr Angelin Gnanapragasam, from the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Motherhood (FMDM), who is a trained Clinical Nurse Specialised in Oncology Palliative Care and Mrs Cynthia Varghese, a mother of three who together with her husband, serves actively in various ministries to help educate and improve the lives of youth and the marginalised. In a culture that has lost hope, the panellists and the moderators shared their life experienc es on HOPE in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was an hour of sharing on unshakable confidence in God — even when circumstances give us every reason to doubt.

Fr Jude gave a brilliant explanation on the meaning of having HOPE in our families and society in general. He shared that when we are faced with life challenges, we should “stare at Jesus and glance at the problem” instead of the other way around.

Speaking on Solidarity in Diversity, Fr Jude gave three examples of couples in the Bible who reflected these traits, i.e. Abraham and Sarah, Elkanah and Hannah, and Joseph and Mary, who were diverse in personalities and yet united in facing their challenges.

Cynthia shared very personal and touching testimonies on how she faced the challenges in her own life and how her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ carried her through the “STORM”. It is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength. Parents must teach their children the difference between our culture’s view of hope and the hope we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope is not mere optimism or wishful thinking; it’s an essential part of our faith. Cynthia added “Help your children learn more about our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ with age-appropriate activities and discussions. The family is the domestic church  and parents play a vital role in this pandemic to teach the faith to our children.

Sr Angelin FMDM shared that she prayed and reflected on the theme Solidarity in Diversity. Sr Angelin said that diversity in a family can be painful because of the various members’ sensitivities. We are reflected in the faces of our loved ones and it hurts when there is diversity in relationship, although there is hope for us to reflect and take stock of what is happening and then to put it right.  There is no perfect family; however, there is always the opportunity to grow and learn to be a family. 

Our moderators too shared their experiences during the pandemic. When we hope in HIM we find the confidence and strength to face any challenge that comes our way. We can find encouragement and joy amid life’s struggles because we know we have HOPE with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Key points to take away from the session: HOPE is an unshakable confidence in God, despite one’s circumstances, HOPE is essential to a believer’s faith and HOPE gives strength, teaches patience and brings encouragement.

For those who missed out on the webinar, please log on to https://youtu.be/-teZxKoZbHs

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