The gift of family
Christmas is a family time! This is what we learn from everything that goes around that celebration; family reunion, family exchange of gifts, family sharing and so on. This does not and should not stop after Christmas. As a matter of fact, it is a time for a new beginning, and time of renewal and of resolve to move forward in the spirit of Emmanuel, God-with-us.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I would like to share with you my reflection on two aspects of this celebration: the humility that Mary and Joseph display in their acceptance of the responsibility of being God bearers on one hand, and the amazement that comes from being chosen to be co-worker with God in the matter of salvation.
With regards to humility, the Holy Family is set in front of us as model and a reminder. God who humbled himself to become one like us teaches us that our true worth is a function of how much little attention we place on ourselves. The feast of Holy family is therefore, a reminder about the importance humble acceptance of one another in our different families. Humility teaches us that when we look at each other within our families with humility, there will be but display of love, compassion and mercy. We can imagine that Mary and Joseph have their share of the challenges inherent to every human family. However, embracing these challenges with faith and humility, knowing that the mission cannot be well carried out without relying on God’s grace, is one the aspects that make this family a model to all human and Christian families. Like Mary and Joseph in their mission of raison the Son of God, we are invited, as family, to lay everything in the feet of the Lord, for he is the one who entrusted to families the mission of continuing the work of creation.
The second aspect that characterizes today’s celebration is the amazement that comes from being chosen to participation in the work of creation. Both Mary and Joseph receive a message they were not expecting. Yet, while recognizing their lowliness and unworthiness, they accept the mission and the responsibility. You and I are not worthy of it, yet God choses us to be part on the great mission of salvation. I took a “yes” from a girl – the Blessed Virgin Mary – from a remote village and a carpenter – Joseph - to change the course of the world. It will also take our acceptance, you and me – to renew that difference Mary and Joseph have made in the world. This starts with the renewal of family life. We are all invited to restore the importance of family life, the family being the domestic church as the second Council of Vatican teaches us.
As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family. May the example of the Holy Family lead us to a rediscovery of the important role of family life and the call to rely of God at every step of our family life.