Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s is an interesting one, liturgically speaking. Except when Christmas falls on Sunday, it is always the celebration of the Holy Family. While throughout the week, there are several important feast days, there is something wholly appropriate in considering and celebrating the Holy Family within the days of Christmas.
Outside of the early parts of the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, there is little said or known about the home life of Jesus. We hear about what it was like at his birth, we know that they fled to Egypt, and there’s the curious incident of losing and subsequent finding Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. But outside these few vignettes, what can we really say about the youth of Christ?
Yet the family is the essential building block of both society and the Church. And the Holy Family serves as the model for what we should strive for in our own homes. Wouldn’t it be nice to know a little bit more about what actually happened?
Well yes and no. Sure, it would be nice to have more details about how Joseph and Mary were as parents and what Jesus was like as a son. But knowing what we do from those scant facts of the Gospel, we see both love and concern for each other on full display.
Joseph showed love when he took his family to a foreign land to protect them from harm. Mary displayed care in searching for her son when he was lost. Jesus proved his love when he went back with his parents after holding court with the Temple elders.
Family life is often challenging. Difficult relationships, over familiarity, problems from outside causing stress in the home are all common experiences. But the family is also the place where we first love and are loved.
May the intercession and model of the Holy Family be with you and your loved ones in this Christmas season.
Peace and Goodness,