The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday December 29, 2019
We are all born into a family, even God himself in the Nazareth home of Mary and Joseph. What makes them holy? How can our own families be "holy" as well?
The Pastor's Prayer Journal
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Yes, I am not crazy; it is still proper to use this greeting, despite the crazy looks that cashiers give me when I tell them that. For us Catholics, the influence of Jesus’ birth on humanity deserves more than a single day to celebrate but deserves an entire liturgical season. Christmas officially ends on the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord (January 12th for this year). Please keep those lights and trees gloriously displayed until then.
Now let us ponder for a moment why God choose this particular way to break into the human scene. He comes to us, not in power and glory, but meek. Anyone who has held a newborn child already understands this. Can you think of anything more helpless and frail than a baby? Yet, God comes to us precisely in this fashion. He chooses to be born as a child, taking the path that each of us are brought into the world. Jesus is born into a family, a Holy Family, as the Gospel relates in this Sunday’s reading. But notice the foundation by which this family is built upon: “When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.“ Their home, their relationships, is first built upon God. That is why we call them the “Holy Family.”
At a time when many of our family relationships are strained and hurting, Jesus reminds us of the extraordinary vocation of the ordinary family. It is here within the seemingly mundane lives of our families, that we first learn how to love and to be loved. Our self-worth is forged here. Even more importantly, our relationship with God is discovered and nourished within the walls of our homes. Whether you are a mother, a father, a son or daughter, aunt or uncle, remember the pivotal impact you have both good and ill. For as St. Pope John Paul II reminded us: “The future of humanity passes through the family.” (Familiaris Consortio, 86)