This video serves as a humorous reminder of how to keep our priorities focused on family.

Canadian advertising company UNION made the video, entitled “Employee Appreciation Day,” for Strategy Online’s Agency of the Year awards. The depiction of employees running into a gymnasium to meet with their families and exchange everything from dirty laundry to an urn of one person’s deceased mother’s ashes, shows in a slightly exaggerated, yet somewhat accurate way the importance of family and the need to make family life a priority.


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Christmas and the New Year are often moments when we sit back and allow ourselves to come together with our families and enjoy that time which seems so difficult to find during the hectic craziness of work and everyday responsibilities during the year. The close of the year is also a time in which many reflect back on the year which has passed, and ponder the events and experiences of the past 12 months of their lives.

 Family and the Church

If we as a Church look back on the past 12 months, we see that it has been filled with talk and discussion surrounding the family and the state of family life across the globe. With October’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family reflecting on the pastoral challenges of family life today, as well as giving a glance at the family’s strengths, much of the discussion held by the Church’s leaders in 2014, including Pope Francis himself, was dedicated to the topic. The family will also be the topic of this year’s Ordinary Synod, which is also set to take place in October and will reflect on the theme “Jesus Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of the family.” In honor of the two-part, two-year synodal reflection on the family, Pope Francis a few weeks ago made the decision to dedicate his weekly general audience catechesis for all of this year to the family as it is understood by the Church.


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With all of this in mind it’s obvious that the family is going to be a very important topic and theme for the Church in 2015, and will shape many of the discussions and writings to come. At the beginning of the New Year we find ourselves in the middle of this intense reflection by the Church, and are invited to re-dedicate ourselves to our own families and make them, their growth and their spiritual and human formation an even bigger priority.

Resolutions

Although Christmas and the holidays are a time when family life seems to be more central, this video serves as a reminder that our families should form the center of our daily lives. So as we begin 2015, let’s commit to making each day a time for family, and keep the Holy Family at Christmas as an example of how to model our own families. As the pre-synodal discussions on the family this year begin, a good resolution can be to read the Pope’s weekly general audience catechesis, as well as any documents or discussions that come out from the Pope, cardinals and bishops on the family. With a second synod on the horizon, 2015 stands as a key opportunity to receive invaluable formation on how to live the familial vocation, and to put the elements we have already received from last year’s synod into practice. With the help of the Church and by the grace of God, may we learn from Jesus, Mary and Joseph how to be holy in our family roles.

The life of a family is filled with beautiful moments: rest, meals together, walks in the park or the countryside, visits to grandparents or to a sick person… But if love is missing, joy is missing, nothing is fun. Jesus gives always gives us that love: he is its endless source. In the (Eucharist) he gives us his word and he gives us the bread of life, so that our joy may be complete. Pope Francis