Messengers of joy
The mission of the Families of Cana is to convey the joy of the Wedding at Cana to as many families as possible, in keeping with the Word of the Gospel:
Go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding. (Mt 22:9)
The insistence on the dynamics of family prayer and sacramental life as a family may appear to close the family inward but in fact the opposite happens. Pope Francis says in Amoris Laetitia: “The work of handing on the faith to children, in the sense of facilitating its expression and growth, helps the whole family in its evangelizing mission. It naturally begins to spread the faith to all around them, even outside of the family circle. Children who grew up in missionary families often become missionaries themselves.” (AL 289)
The two appeals of Pope Francis
The Families of Cana Movement seeks to respond to the persistent appeals of Pope Francis as expressed both in Evangelii Gaudium and in Amoris Laetitia: two appeals in particular:
– To be the “Church in her missionary outreach”, able “to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel” (AE 20), especially the peripheries of family that exist as much in the midst of material poverty as, and in particular, in the spiritual poverty of the western world. Nobody should remain outside wedding feast.
– To give priority the kerygma, the proclamation of Jesus Christ the Saviour, a proclamation that should precede and be present in all doctrinal catechesis. Pope Francis says: “This first proclamation is called “first” not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things. It is first in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment” (Evangelii gaudium, 164)
Fulfilment of the mission
The context of the wedding feast, which in Jesus’s time assembled an entire village, gives the members of this movement valuable indications about its charismatic way of responding respond to these calls:
– The mission should have a trait that is particular to each person or family, which, like Mary did, responds with personal or family initiative to the need identified while presenting families to Jesus and Jesus to families.
– The mission should also be the mission of the “village”, like in Cana, where the servants at the marriage feast hurried to carry out the Word of Jesus by serving the “new wine” together. From here the “Villages of Cana” are born – small groups of at least two or three Families of Cana who meet in their parish or in the houses of the different families, and open to whoever wants to join in to deepen the spirituality of the movement and find ways of serving the community together.
– The mission should have moments of “feasting”, that is, meetings, reunions, retreats or gatherings that will attract, by means of words and life testimonies, those found at the “crossroads” and offer all of them the charism of the Families of Cana.