From today’s New Testament reading, from 1 Thessalonians: ‘For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory’.

‘Like a father with his children …’ – this passage shows the family spirit of the Gospel and of the Church. As also, the Holy Rule, concerning the Abbot of the monastery: ‘An abbot who is worthy to rule a monastery should always remember what he is called and realise in his actions the name of a superior. For he is believed to be the representative of Christ in the monastery, and for that reason is called by a name of his, according to the words of the Apostle: “Ye have received the spirit of the adoption of sons, whereby we cry Abba, Father”. This involves both gentleness and rigour, and the discernment to know which quality is required at which time.

Let us pray today for families, that love and trust may always prevail in them; and may God bless you this day.