Family must be a sanctuary of life, says archbishop

Piura, Peru, Sep 13, 2011 / 05:56 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren of Piura in northern Peru has encouraged families to always be a cenacle of love and a sanctuary of life.

The archbishop called on Catholics to pray that the family be “defended and respected as the true cenacle of love and sanctuary of life.” His words came during Mass on Sept. 11 as the country marked the National Day of the Family.

“If we want to put a truly human face on our future, we cannot ignore the precious gift of the family, founded upon the marriage between one man and one woman in a life-long consortium of love,” the archbishop said.

Speaking on the Gospel passage in which Jesus tells his disciples to forgive 70 times seven times, Archbishop Eguren said this means believers must follow the example of the Lord, who always forgives a repentant heart.

“Brothers and sisters,” he said, “in an act of merciful love, God canceled original sin, paid the debt for the sins of humanity of yesterday, today and tomorrow, by sending his only Son, Jesus Christ, who became incarnate in the virginal womb of Holy Mary and died on the cross for us, for our salvation.”

“The great problem today is that we have lost the sense of sin …  Our sins have been paid with the death of Christ on the cross, with the sacrifice of His body and the shedding the last drop of his blood in order to achieve perfect reconciliation for us,” the archbishop continued.

He also reminded the congregation to remember “God’s infinite mercy for us.

“Let us move our hearts toward forgiveness for each other. If God has paid the debt of our sins, should we not be more disposed to showing love and mercy?” the Peruvian archbishop asked.