The Holy Family

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

This Feast of the Holy Family brings us many thoughts about Jesus, Mary and Joseph, about our own families and about families throughout the world.

1. The letter to the Hebrews describes to us how Abraham became the Father of our Faith and how he sustained his faith in God:

a) Not knowing what lies in the future, Abraham responded and obeyed God’s call, and he received his inheritance of the promise (Heb 11:8).

b) Despite his old age and Sarah’s sterility, Abraham received the power to generate for he believed that He who promised was trustworthy (Heb 11:11).

c) As a great act of faith Abraham was ready to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering for he thought that God would fulfill His promise of descendants for him, as God was capable of even raising the dead to life (Heb 11:17-19).

2. By faith Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites, David and all the other prophets and leaders obeyed God to liberate His people not only from human oppressors but also from the deception of the devil. And

though approved because of their faith, (they) did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect (Heb 11:40).

Only through the birth, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ are all redeemed and all promises fulfilled.

3. Joseph and Mary fulfilled their duties for Jesus in faith. In faith they accepted their responsibilities to be the parents of the Son of God. In faith they fled to Egypt to save Jesus from the wrath of Herod. In faith they looked for the boy Jesus in Jerusalem who they thought was lost. In faith they reared Jesus in the Jewish culture. In faith they had to accept the mission of Jesus, until His death on the cross. And their faith was rewarded.

4. We all live in faith, or rather, should be living in faith. We are born into a world where evil thrives. We live in families battered by worldly influence and disordered desires. Our relationships are influenced by technology that seems to disregard, or all together deny, the existence of God.

We, therefore, cannot but think and pray for the following:

– families living in the extreme side of suffering and oppression, because of poverty, wars and calamities;

– parents who carry in their wombs unwanted children;

– parents and individuals who abort their children or consent to abortion and live in a culture of death;

– parents and individuals who live promiscuous sexual lives and take advantage of others, especially the needy, and damage their families and the families of others;

– parents who badly desire to have children but are unable;

– parents who spend most of their time in work for money at the expense of love and their relationship with their families;

– children who are abused;

– youth and adults addicted to prohibited substances;

– mentally and emotionally disoriented persons due to lack or absence of love and care in their families; and many more. In these and many other situations, we need the help of the Holy family.

This feast of the Holy Family urges us to consecrate our families to Jesus, through Mary and Joseph, to be set apart from the world of sin and from the deception of the devil, to look up to the holy ones in heaven, and to be holy as God is holy. The Holy family always invites us to set aside times for silence in prayer and in adoration of God, to seek opportunities to serve others, to fill our relationships with hope, and to vest ourselves with courage to perform our responsibilities with joy and fear of the Lord. It is with joy that we celebrate the Eucharist and receive Jesus, just as it was with joy that Joseph and Mary had Jesus in their family.

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