It is coincidental that we celebrate Family Weekend at SAU at a time when Pope Francis has asked input into an Extraordinary Synod on the Family.
Family is important. A comedian who takes a more cynical view once said, "Youth is that time in life when you blame all your troubles on your parents. Maturity comes when you learn that that everything is the fault of the younger generation."
In truth, maturity comes not when we cast blame, but when we learn to take responsibility for our own actions and learn to be grateful for the sacrifices, support, and love that have enabled us to be the persons we are today.
While every family has its own narrative and its unique functions and dysfunctions, ideally "family" is the place where we learn essential messages about life, love, and service to others. In family we learn to love and be loved; to take and to give; to forgive and to be forgiven.
As we welcome the family members of our students to campus this weekend and honor the sacrifices made, we are reminded not only to bring those life lessons to our time together here with classmates, colleagues, and friends, but also to the broader family of human kind. That's such a timely thought as Family Weekend leads us directly into Hunger Week. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa stated upon reception of the 1987 Pacem in Terris Award in Lee Lohman Arena, "My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."
Thank God for families. They teach us to be human together. Enjoy Family Weekend!