Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family
The Scriptures tell us a lot about Jesus, especially how he came into the world and how he left it. Although Scripture doesn’t say much about Jesus’ childhood, today’s Gospel is one notable exception . Luke gives us a glimpse of the tension in Jesus, being the son of Mary and Joseph, and at the same time recognizing he was God’Son and therefore had to be about his Father’s business.
Jesus’ response to Mary’s expression of concern, after he was found in the Temple, might come across at first glance as cold and uncaring. That being said, the fact that there was tension in Jesus’ family makes it clear hat the Holy Family was real because our families experience tension, too.
Just three days ago on Christmas, we celebrated the mystery of the incarnation, when the Divine Word became flesh i the person of Jesus. Today, on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we celebrate how the Word flesh, the same way you and I come into the world, by being born into a family.
Jesus’ coming into the world as the son of Mary and Joseph shows that the family is a important building block both in the Church and in the world. The Holy Family living in love and unity with God and another is the model all Christian families seek to imitate.
Though the life of any family includes challenges and stress, the life of the Holy Family encourages us to invest ourselves in the relationships that make up family life. And each member of the Holy Family provides a model of certain values and virtues we can strive to imitate.
Joseph, a man of few words but bold action, exemplifies the virtue of fidelity, which is so critical for Family life. Mary, a woman who pondered all things in her heart, displays the faith and trust are essential ingredients of authentic family relationships. Jesus, who strove always to do God’s will, even when it caused tension with his mother, exhibits the obedience to which all of us are called not only to God our Father,but to our respective parents and siblings as we work to build our lives together.
Like Jesus, each of us comes into the world as part of the family. And just as Jesus’ life with Joseph and Mary helped shape the man he grew into, our family formed us. The ups and downs of family life give us opportunities to offer love and forgiveness to others.
Family life is most often and most profoundly deepened around the table where meals are shared. May our sharing of the Holy Eucharist meal nourish and deepen within each of us the desire to build good, loving families here on earth and live in perfect love and Communion with God and the rest of the angels and saints in heaven.
Also, let us celebrate God given us a New Year to explore and enjoy life and family and so allow the question I have raised today give you direction and guidance in how you choose to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in 2021.
May God bless you all
Your brother in Christ