Acts 16: 22-34
John 16: 5-11


Often on hearing the word “church” I think, is that with a big C or little c? Are they talking about the building or the people? Are they referring to religion or spiritual expression?

Amidst the drama in Acts “… Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its foundations.” comes an example of church.

Paul and Silas shine the Christ light in responding to the community around them in the situation where they stand, ‘don’t do yourself any harm’; ‘become a believer’ he will be baptised ‘with all his household.’ Later in the verse we learn that they gathered for a meal with the ‘whole family as they celebrated’.
What a family to be part of?

Reminds me of the Passionist Family Group logo – A Family for All.

It gathers people of all ages to simply be together, getting to know each other by sharing joys and sorrows and so building the Christian community, as in the early Church.

This illustrates that ‘family’ is the basic cell of society, however you interpret the word family, as it is with the church where God lives, where the gospels take root gifting living water. Given the apostolic times in which we are living, with a pandemic, social distance, lockdowns, church closures, to name a few realities, the call to mission in family remains, just like the goaler’s family in Acts , they are a source of prophecy, grace, mercy, witness and Christ love.

Where ever you experience family, be it at home, work, church, family group, football club, gym, café … wherever it maybe, take a moment to be still, offer praise and thanksgiving for these family communities who invite us to live church daily.

Sr Karen Englebretsen CP, Cross and Passion Sisters. blessed to be a spiritual care worker in the homeless sector in Melbourne.