Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.
Each of our readings today invites us to reflect on the family and family life. Our first reading from the Book of Sirach focuses on the relationship between a child and his/her mother and father. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. The fourth commandment tells us to “honor your father and mother”. Traditionally we think of this as respect for parents, not only as a child, but into adult life – where sometimes we are called to become the care provider for our parents. In this passage from the Book of Sirach, we see that we have a sacred responsibility for the care of our parents.
We call our parish a community of believers in Jesus Christ. We live in a neighborhood or a community. Our workplace or school is a community as well. Our family is a community of relatives and those who are not “blood related” to us, whom we consider family. How are we to live within these various communities? St. Paul in today’s passage from the Letter to the Colossians tells us to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient and forgiving. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Jesus, in fully taking upon our human condition in all things except sin, was born into a family. Mary and Joseph provide us with models of faith and trust in God, especially in the struggles and challenges that we face internal and external to our family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!
A blessed new year to all! Deacon Mike