12-28-2014 Feast of the Holy Family
In the Beginning
God the Father has a beautiful plan for the world. He created everything, the earth, the trees, the sun, the moon, the animals and birds of the air and us. He gave us free will so we could choose to love him in return for all the blessing he pours out on us. In the beginning, Adam and Eve had their every need provided for in the Garden of Eden, they even spoke with God daily during the breezy time of the day. But with their free will they chose to disobey God and break the relationship of love and trust they enjoyed with God, their creator. Ever since that day, sin has marred God’s plan for the family. We see in Genesis Chapter 4, that in the first family of the world, instead of love and trust being the center of their family, there is jealousy, pride and even murder. As we continue to read the book of Genesis, we see a continual decline of morality within the family that resembles much of what we see in our daytime soap operas today.
Throughout history, God continued to reach out and invite man to return to Him with his whole heart and reestablish the relationship that man rejected in the beginning. There were good men and women throughout the old testament who sought to follow the Lord, but they always fell short and their family lives reflected this human weakness (See King David). Fortunately, God’s plan to redeem the world was already in motion, the Prophet Isaiah foretold the suffering servant and the virgin who would bear a son that would be the savior of the world. The Jewish people anxiously awaited this savior, expecting a might warrior and king that would deliver them from their oppressors, what they received was a baby, born into a poor family who would die as a criminal.
The Beauty of the Holy Family
God redeems the world through the family, he could have sent His Son to save us from our sins in many miraculous ways, but he chose to do it through a family, a perfect family, a holy family. Mary was a young woman who was dedicated to serving the Lord. We can see this in the Annunciation and her Magnificat. In both of these New Testament scenes, she surrenders herself completely to God’s will for her life and gives God the glory in all things. In Joseph we find a just man who fears the Lord and honors Mary with all his heart. He obediently follows the promptings of the Lord no matter how difficult the task. We can learn much from the Holy Family, the family that God choose to bring salvation through to the world. Both Mary and Joseph loved the Lord with all their heart, mind and strength, and they welcomed the Lord into their home and their whole lives revolved around Him. They lived humble lives, in poverty, but were filled with Joy and surrounded by family and friends. Their highest priority was serving the Lord and observing the precepts of the Law which the Jewish people received from God.
While there is not much written about the “hidden” thirty years of the life for Christ, we can draw much from the fact that God himself spent thirty years in a poor family, living, working and honoring his parents. He only spent the last three years of his life preaching, healing and proclaiming the Good news to the people of Judea and the surrounding countryside. Only around ten percent of the life of Jesus was spent outside of his family. But even in those three years of public ministry, he still kept in close contact with his mother and his relatives. He saw Mary, his mother, on many occasions and his extended family members were disciples and even Apostles. Mary was at the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus and she continued to strengthen the Apostles following His death and Resurrection and was an active member of the early Church up until her Assumption into heaven.
Your Holy Family
Salvation came to the world through a poor holy family. Our first parents had a dysfunctional family and the world suffered greatly from it over many centuries. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph provide us with proof that it is possible to redeem the world through the family. We must remember that the Holy Family is made up of human beings. Mary, Joseph and Jesus were human just like us, they experienced hunger, suffering, poverty, rude neighbors, nosey relatives, and all the difficulties of family life that we do, yet they chose to obey God’s laws perfectly. Our families are called to sanctify and bless the world, to be a light to others showing that love can conquer all evil, that it is possible to trust God and each other, to love even when life is difficult and people are rude. We are called to be a family of love, loving as God loves. We are called to have Jesus at the center of our family and have Mary as our Mother. Without God family life lived in holiness is impossible, but with God at the center of our family life, we can do all things and be that light in the darkness. The Mission of the family is to Guard, Reveal and Communicate love, and by the love of God, we can change the world one family at a time.