Gospel Reflection for Feast of the Holy Family, December 30th The Feast of the Holy Family
Mary, Joseph and Jesus their Son, Jesus Christ.
Today, we gather around the Holy Family; Mary, Joseph and Jesus. It is through this poor family that God’s love for each of us and the whole world is revealed and experienced. God did not come to us in power, glory, wealth or majesty. God chose to come close to us and become one of us through Mary who said ‘Yes’ when she was asked to be with Mother of Jesus. When Joseph was uncertain what to do, he heard these words of hope and encouragement,
‘Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary into your home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus.’
We often forget that Joseph was also called by God and he too said ‘Yes’. Jesus their Son ‘is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Jesus is the face and voice of God. Jesus comes to bring the Good News to Poor. Jesus is the Light of the World, the Bread of Life and the Good Shepherd. He will become the Suffering Servant who will give his life for us. Through his suffering and wounds we are healed. Through his life, death and resurrection, we are given the precious gift of everlasting life.
Today is also a special time for us to remember and celebrate our own sacred families. It is a day to recall and acknowledge from where we come, where we first learnt to love, share and say sorry. We don’t get to choose our families, we experience them as they are. There are no perfect families, only the ones into which we are born.
Patrick Kavanagh, an Irish poet once said, that God is in the bits and pieces of everyday. If we look and are attentive we will find and experience God in the bits and pieces of the everyday events of our family life. In our family, despite the rough and tumble of daily life, we are surrounded by people who love us, nurture us, sustains us and are there for us where we need them the most. There are also times when we do and say the wrong thing to those who are closet to us. Challenging as it may be, these times offer us the opportunity to say sorry and offer them the healing hand of reconciliation and forgiveness.
As Pope Francis reminds us;
‘If we could say Please, Sorry and Thank You more in our families, how happier places our homes would be.’
The parents of St. Eugene de Mazenod, the Founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, separated and divorced in 1802; he was 21. This was a deep wound from which he never really recovered; he carried the pain of this with him all his life. We can rightly call him the Patron Saint of wounded families. Today, as we celebrate the Holy Family of Nazareth, let us also remember and pray for all families that are experiencing pain and difficulties. Through our prayers, may they know and feel the loving protection of Mary, Joseph and their Son, Jesus Christ, the Holy Family.
– Br Michael Moore OMI
Gospel, Feast of the Holy Family: Luke 2:41-52
The finding of Jesus, after being lost for three days
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.
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