What is the purpose of the Feast of the Holy Family? Why do we celebrate this feast, the Sunday after Christmas? Today’s Feast of the Holy Family, occurring right after Christmas, highlights that Jesus was born into a family. Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, made holy everything, including family life. Family life is divinely instituted, a gift from God.
St. Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio explained that when families function as God intends, they have as their mission to guard, reveal and communicate love. He cites Genesis 1:27 in support of this view. We are created through love and for love. “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.”
Pope Benedict XVI said: “The family is the privileged setting where every person learns to give and receive love…indispensable foundation for society.”
The family is a community whose members love each other and serve each other. All we have to do is to think 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.
While we live in an earthly family, we have a heavenly family as well; God, the Father, Jesus, our brother and the Holy Spirit, with Mary as our spiritual mother.
Throughout our lives we are part of many teams, sports, work, community and church We may not think of a family as a team, but it certainly is…so was the Holy Family… A key part of any team is trust amongst the members…and no different with the family team. We could look at many different aspects of the Holy Family, but let’s consider trust within the Holy Family.
Joseph and Mary had to trust Jesus. Why? Because they trusted in God and His promises…a promise come true before their eyes…God became man! But even before that, Mary had to trust that even though she was a virgin, she would bear a child by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph had to trust the angel’s words and accept Mary into his home. Mary had to trust Jesus, that as she watched Jesus die on the cross, the promise of the Resurrection was true!
Let’s pray to the Holy Family, that through their intercession, the love of God will be revealed through each member of our family.
God bless us all always!