As in every June, the Diocese of Belize and Belmopan will celebrate Family Month in preparation for the World Meeting of Families, June 22–26.
In a letter to his diocese May 18, Bishop Lawrence Nicasio invited all parishes and Catholic institutions and all families to participate in celebrating the gift of the family.
In solidarity with the Holy Father, the theme for the Year of the Amoris Laetitia Family will be the diocese’s theme as well: Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness.
Bishop Nicasio asserted that faithful have been encouraged to revisit the document Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) which, he highlighted, has been available to the Church for five years, “but many of us have not benefited from its wisdom in Belize”. “This June is a good opportunity to strength[en] our knowledge and experience in God’s plan for family life,” he said.
Bishop Nicasio observed that many families in Belize are trying to come to grips with the grief and the profound sadness that they suffer from the loss of a family member.
He spoke of cases where one family member takes the life of another because of money, family properties or just out of revenge. “Each day families try to understand the meaning of all this because in their minds, we are children of God created out of God’s love for us, and created ‘very good’,” he said.
He opined out of one man’s “greedy heart”, many families are displaced and destroyed in Ukraine. To this end, he underscored, “We want to know how families can live in peace and harmony with each other? You read the Word of God! You follow Jesus’ instructions and examples that He has given and shown to us!….”
Family love, Bishop Nicasio said, is not like the pretty shoes or clothes that one likes and goes to buy. “Yes! We know the importance of Family Love and we know, deep down in our hearts, how much we want and need it in and for our families. But no amount of money can buy Family Love. Family Love is in our hearts. It has been given freely to us by our God who is love. To have Family Love reign in our families, our hearts must be constantly open to the guidance of love. Remember ‘Love never fails!’. God is LOVE! If we live a life in love and never entertain evil, we will always succeed in our relationships with others in our common home,” the bishop said.
He ended his message for Family Month stating that like peace, family love is a way of life. It is a lifestyle that calls one every day and every hour.
When embracing this lifestyle and vocation, Bishop Nicasio stressed, families will live in peace and all else will fall in place for everyone.