KOTA KINABALU, SABAH – The family is the “foundation of society. When family units are broken, the order of society and the world will be in chaos,” said Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, in his message for the lunar New Year, which falls on Feb 8.

He noted that it is tradition during Chinese New Year to have family reunions. He also noted that last October in Rome, Pope Francis convened the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

“At this turn of the season,” added Archbishop Wong, “people are generally preoccupied with planning... I hope that your plan will include building a family of faith and happiness.”

“With modernisation and advancement in technology, our values, especially in terms of the significance of family and its values, have changed,” he said.

“There is a growing phenomenon where people do not know how to treasure the gift of their families, as they ought. With secularisation, material wealth becomes top priority, and more time is expended at work to build a career and accumulate wealth.

“This has come at the expense of time spent in nourishing their marriages and nurturing their children,” Archbishop Wong said.

Many risks await families. “They emphasise the fulfilment of their personal happiness instead of those of their spouses. They become selfish and are reluctant to forgive and accept each other as they are.”

“We read in Genesis that God created man and woman and hence, instituted marriage.

“This was the first family He created. Married couples are called to continue God’s work through procreation. With children as the fruits of love between husband and wife, it is the primary mission of parents to share and help children experience the love of God.”

“As Catholics, are our homes filled with the presence of God?” asked Archbishop Wong. “Do we have a place at home for the sacred scripture, the crucifix and holy items? Do we pray and read the Bible together?

“If not, let us make this New Year a new beginning to grow together in Christ as a family,” he said. - ASIANEWS.IT

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