Extent: Paperback

Publisher: Veritas

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In Family Tree, Reflections for the World Meeting of the Fam, 10th Jan 2019

Reviewer: Clare Cromie-O’Toole, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow

In Family Tree, Reflections for the World Meeting of the Families, Sister Anna Burke offers a series of contemplations on a variety of biblical texts. Best read chapter by chapter, with the accompanying scripture, rather than from start to finish, these short meditations link the wisdom on offer to the struggles of modern-day family life.
Sr Burke’s reflections on the creation story from Genesis and the familial tale of the disparate approaches of sisters Mary and Martha to welcoming Jesus into their home are a caution against the frenetic pace of modern life. She challenges us to re-think the value of busying ourselves with work at the expense of nurturing relationships. The passage from Genesis reminds us to reserve space and time for rest and restoration. Sr Burke encourages families to reclaim the Sabbath as a day of rest, worship and togetherness.
Another indispensable passage of scripture for family life Sr Burke explores is the welcome reminder that Jesus calls us to forgive one another, not once or twice, but seventy times seven times. Family life is an endless cycle of hurts and reconciliations. A spirit of forgiveness and the restitution of wrongs is the oil that keeps the family machine humming along.

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Veritas Publications

The Family Tree

by Anna Burke


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As we prepare to celebrate the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018, our thoughts turn to Scripture and to its representation of families, both earthly and divine. The image of the family tree connects us with the happiness and sorrow, the successes and failures, the hopes and struggles of our forebears. It is an image that links life in all its aspects with the Word which became flesh in a family. In these short, thought-provoking reflections, Anna Burke reclaims the family tree – its root, branches and fruit – as central to our understanding of the Gospel message in today’s fast-paced and demanding world.

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