Reflection for The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Each year, on the Sunday after Christmas, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. We reflect both on the Holy Family and our own families. Jesus was born into a family – which reinforces the fact that he is fully human. Jesus makes family life holy. The family is not a merely human construct, but divinely established by God. We also know that Jesus is part of a divine family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The reality of our world today is that some of us grew up with two parents, others with one parent and some, raised by extended family members – grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. This does not change the basic function of the family unit, however we have experienced it. Saint Pope John Paul II wrote an encyclical: Familiaris Consortio, in which he explains the function of the family as God intended it. The mission of the family is to guard, reveal and communicate love.
Love is only learned from experience and that first experience usually comes in the family. God created each one of us through love and for us to love. In the family, we learn love is about service – service involves sacrifice.
This Feast of the Holy Family helps me to reflect on the gift of my parents and their seemingly endless sacrifice for me and my brothers. Their
sacrificial love enabled me to so the same for them as they grew older. Their serving love was the foundation that enabled me to say “yes” to the vocation of the diaconate.
Today, as we reflect on the Holy Family and our own families, we thank God for the gift of family –
given to us from his love, so that we may share love with the same generosity.
A blessed, healthy and holy new year to you and your families! Deacon Mike