Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. Lk2:45,46
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Each reading invites us to reflect on the family of the Holy Trinity and the human (our) family. Our first reading from the Book of Sirach, illustrates what it means to honor your father and mother. My son, take care of your father when he is old…kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firmly planted against the debt of your sins – a house raised in justice to you.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (Jn3:16) Our second reading from the First Letter of St. John tells us more about the love of the Father. See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Through our Baptism, we are part of God’s heavenly family. We have God the Father, as a loving Father…God the Son, Jesus Christ, as a loving brother… God the Holy Spirit, as a loving Advocate. God has something even greater for us: What we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Our responsibility is to keep his commandments…love one another…now, as we live in our earthly family.
Jesus, being fully human, lived in a human family with Mary and Joseph. Jesus made family life holy. St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio explains that when families function as God intends, they have as their mission, to guard, reveal and communicate love. This is our responsibility as a member of a family. Pope Benedict XVI said: “The family is the privileged setting where every person learns to give and receive love…indispensable foundation for society.”
We think of the members of the Holy Family, how each in their role served as a model for us: Joseph as father, Mary as mother and Jesus as their and God’s Son. In whatever role we play in the family unit, we pray for their intercession.
May God bless us all always!