The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This feast has tremendous meaning for the Catholic family. Our call to holiness, to be separate for the Lord, forms our families into little Churches[1]. When I was preparing this homily, I thought about our families, our young families with babies and little children, pre-Teens and Teens at home, our older families whose children have moved off on their own, and our senior families. I also thought about all those who are looking forward someday to starting a family of their own. And I was tempted to talk about the negative influences of our society attacking the very concept of marriage and family, or about the tendency to worship materialism instead of God, but then I stopped and thought about whom exactly would be attending Mass this weekend. I asked myself, “What would God want to say to these people?” It is clear to me. He would want me to tell you that you are wonderful.

When I see so many of you coming to Church with your family every Sunday, or, in the case of the retirees, knowing that you brought your children to Church back when they were home, I am so proud of you, very proud because your way is to have Christ in the center of your family’s life. You are here. You have a Holy Family.

And it is not just being here that matters. I know that you are continually finding ways to pray in your homes with your children and with your spouse. You are continually looking for way to reach out to others in love and generosity. You are certainly committed to Christ as individuals, but also as families.

On Christmas, we formed a community of prayer and celebrated the presence of the Lord at Mass. Throughout the day; we continued the celebration in our families. We did this by exchanging gifts, enjoying a meal together, basically just being together. It was good, all good. Perhaps, on Christmas Day more than most other days we sense the Presence of the Lord in our families. Perhaps, on Christmas Day more than most other days we realize that we have been given the gift of being a Holy Family. Perhaps, on Christmas Day more than most other days we realize that the center of the Holy Family is Jesus Christ, whether that Holy Family was Mary and Joseph’s, or whether that Holy Family is your family.

Let us reflect on the fact that the Holy Family serves as a model for us today, is not in their difference, but in their similarity to most family situations that we face. When husband and wife commit themselves to each other, to be faithful in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, until death,” they are establishing a community of life in which new life is welcome.

And so our question this week is, can we do that? In our family life, in our relationships with others, in our community, can we let go of our own agendas, and let God be the Lord of our lives? Let us reflect on this with trough the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph

[1] Feast of the Holy Family. Readings: 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28. How happy they who dwell in your house, O Lord—Ps 83(84):2-3, 5-6, 9-10. 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24. Luke 2:41-52 [St John].

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris