This weekend, the Church presents us with the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as a role model for all Christian families. The scripture readings today give some practical examples of the roles children and parents have and how each can help create a holy family and home. We hear some key words that describe the nature between each relationship within the holy family such as love, respect and obedience. This goes beyond the interrelationships within the family...it also pertains to our relationship with God and others in society. The Gospel reading presents Joseph and Mary as being obedient to the Jewish tradition and God. Ordinarily, Mary has no physical reason to present herself for purification. A lamb is to be offered for the ritual sacrifice of atonement, but in the case of a poor couple, two turtledoves and two pigeons would do. The first child to be born is sacred and presented to the Lord, because that child opened the womb.
A recent survey shows that two-thirds of the families in the United States do not eat their meals together. Of the one-third who do, 50% are watching TV during the meal. Studies have also shown that many Catholic families do not pray together as a family. One of the unintended good things that has come out of the pandemic is the fact that it has compelled people to stay home and share time together as a family. Never trade your family for anything because it is our greatest treasure in life. We all begin from there and it is our family who will surround us at the end of our lives. No matter how much time and energy we invest in our places of work, we will retire to our homes and our associates from work will not be the ones to be around our graves.
As we reflect on how to model our families after that of the Holy Family, we are also reminded this weekend that we all belong to another larger family: the Church. One of the four marks of the Catholic Church is that she is Holy. We are one Body of Christ (1cor 12: 12) and we are called to be holy and blameless before Him (Col 1:22). Thank you and remain blessed, Fr. JamesBACK TO LIST