Feast of the Holy Family: Make Jesus, Mary and Joseph the center of our families this year



Sunday Bible Readings: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

1) Sir 3: 2-6, 12-14 or 1 Sm 1: 20-22, 24-28 Psalm 128: 1-5 or 84: 2-3, 5-6, 9-10
2) Col 3: 12-21 or 1 Jn 3: 1-2, 21-24 Gospel: Lk 2: 41-52

Make Jesus, Mary and Joseph the center of our families this year

Bible families have experienced the struggles and challenges faced by many families.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve are torn apart as they turn away from the harmony of the original unity of love in the friendship God offered them. Their sons are swallowed up by jealousy when Cain, a farmer, murders his shepherd brother Abel, whose sacrifice has found favor with God.

After God’s saving protection against the mighty flood, Noah’s sons find their father in a drunken state of nakedness. Then Joseph is sold by his brothers in their petty jealousy which led them to plot the murder of their own flesh and blood.

And the king of Israel, David, ensures the killing on the battlefield of Uriah the husband of Bathsheba, who was pregnant with David’s child. In these and many other Old Testament stories, families struggle with the consequences of human infidelity and sin.

Jem Sullivan writes for Catholic News Service (CNS photo / courtesy Jem Sullivan)

Today the church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As the graces of Christmas continue to resonate in our hearts, we reflect on the wonderful gift of God’s incarnation in the newborn Jesus. On this feast of the Holy Family, we meditate on the close bonds of family love that united Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

God sent his divine son, Jesus, not as an autonomous and powerful individual, but as a poor and humble child born into a close-knit human family that raised, nurtured and educated him. God sent his own son to a human family so that Jesus would transform, with his divine love and power, the hearts of every family, burdened with sin, weakness and failures of all kinds.

In the first reading of Sirach, we hear of divine blessings on those who honor father and mother. Because “he who honors his father atones for sins and preserves himself from them”.

And the apostle Paul urges the Colossians, and us, to grow in these daily virtues of “sincere compassion, goodness, humility, meekness, and patience, support one another and forgive one another, if any have grievances against them. ‘other ; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you.

These virtues bring healing and God’s mercy to the hearts of families. And as Saint Paul notes: “On all this put on love, that is to say the bond of perfection.

In Jesus, the relationships of family life are transformed by the power of God’s love. For Jesus experienced the love of his Heavenly Father in the love of the Holy Family.

The Gospel story of the discovery of the infant Jesus in the Temple reminds us that Jesus was brought up in a human family as he grew in wisdom, in age, and in favor to freely carry out his father’s saving plan. celestial.

The love of Mary and Joseph in the family and the house of Nazareth strengthened in Jesus the love with which he gave his life for the salvation of the world.

As this year draws to a close and we look to another year of blessings from God, we take to heart Saint Paul’s words: “And be grateful. May the word of Christ dwell abundantly in you. May Jesus, Mary and Joseph be at the center of our families as we pray, “Speak to me, Lord.

Reflection question:
What inspires you the most about the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph?

Sullivan is a professor at Catholic University of America.


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