Here is Pope Francis’ General Audience on the family, held 17 December at St Peter’s Square:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In preparation for next October’s meeting of the Synod of Bishops on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the world, our weekly catecheses will be devoted to the theme of the family.
This Advent season of prayerful expectation for the Lord’s coming invites us to consider how God’s original gift of the family was taken up and confirmed in the mystery of the Incarnation. The Son of God chose to be born into a human family, in an obscure town on the periphery of the Roman Empire.
Although the Gospels tell us little about the first thirty years of his life, we can imagine that Jesus led a very “normal” family life. He was raised in an atmosphere of religious devotion, he learned from the words and example of Mary and Joseph, and he grew in wisdom, age and grace (cf. Lk 2:52).
In imitation of the Holy Family, every Christian family must make a place for Jesus in its home. For it is through the love of such “normal” families that God’s Son quietly comes to dwell among us, bringing salvation to our world.