Today, December 26, we are celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family, and Pope Francis said that the liturgy invites us to reflect on the experience of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, united by an immense love and inspired by great trust in God.
Jesus is the center in the Holy Family. Mary and Joseph welcomed the Son, protected Him and watched Him grow in age, wisdom and grace in their midst, but above all He grew in their hearts; and, little by little, their affection for Him and their understanding of Him grew. This is why the family of Nazareth is holy: because it was centered on Jesus; all of Mary and Joseph’s attention and concerns were directed toward Him.
Pope Francis in his homily said that the basic features of Christian family are: First, the family prays. All families need God: all of us! We need His help, His strength, His blessing, His mercy, and His forgiveness. God should be the center of our lives.
Second, the family keeps the faith. We all know that families, especially young families, are often “racing” from one place to another, they are preoccupied all the time. But did you ever think that this “racing” could also be the race of faith? Saint Paul compares his life to a race. He kept the faith. He didn’t just defend it, but proclaimed it, spread it, brought it to distant lands. Mary and Joseph kept their promises to take care of Jesus. They were with Him in every step of the way.
Lastly, the family experiences joy. The true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, true joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. Likewise, the joy of Mary and Joseph having Jesus in their midst was immeasurable and overflowing.
May this immense love and unity of the Holy Family be our inspiration, encouragement, and motivation as we all together welcome the new 2022 Calendar Year!