Reflections - December 30, 2018

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” Lk. 2: 40.

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

It is a day of reflection for all Christian families. When the Son of God is embodied in our humanity He chooses a family, because our God is a God of family. We find Mary, “the full of grace”, accepting God’s plan with all the difficulties of doing “God’s Will” in poverty, dangers, and exile. We also find the paternal figure of Joseph that will always be attentive to fulfill God’s plan as the father of Jesus Christ. Joseph was chosen by the Trinity as the father who receives the charge of fleeing with the child and His mother to Egypt. Joseph has full confidence in God and thus fulfills his duty to protect and care for his family. We can also reflect on the obedience of Jesus to His parents.

On a visit to Israel I found a stained glass in a church that moved me. In it you see Joseph dying in the arms of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin.

This school in Nazareth also gives all families an example of spiritual discipline that strengthens us to follow the teachings of the Gospel and to be disciples of Christ in love.

I would not like to end this reflection without leaving you with some words from St. Paul VI on this day of the Holy Family at the inauguration and blessing of the Basilica of Nazareth: “We are in the school of Nazareth in this chair, ‘School of Silence’, in a world of so much extraversion and hypersensitivity”.

The best lesson from this Holy Family is the living of love in the simplicity of life, in communication, and in difficult times. “Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety”. They also give us a lesson in work. The house in Nazareth is also “the house of the Son of a carpenter”. The Holy Family restores the nobility and value of work. A humble, tidy, and dignified house where “growing and becoming strong, being filled with wisdom; and the favor of God is – The Savior of the World”.

May the Lord bless and protect all the families of our parish. Amen.