We continue the Christmas Season with another weekend packed with profound Scripture readings and liturgical celebrations.
This weekend we remember the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the following day the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. It seems then, that the emphasis truly is on family. What we know about family today is that it cannot be defined as a compact unit of mother, father and child. What we have learned by our life experience is that families are as unique in their makeup as each of us are unique as individuals.
The family unit with Mom, Dad, two kids and dog who live happily together in a two story house with a white picket fence may be that of movies or dreams. Family life is complex to be sure. However, there does exist a bond that unites members of a family. That bond is love which is at the core of all human relationships and in fact at the heart of our relationship with God. The complex nature of family life and the fragility of each person within a family will in the end define how a family thrives or struggles.
Many of us have experienced difficult times with our family that either assisted in our growing more deeply in love or caused painful separation.
People may think of the Holy Family as being the ideal family in which they always loved deeply and never disappointed one another or ever had to deal with difficulties. Think again. Mary was with child before her marriage to Joseph and the child was not his biological child. They certainly were not wealthy; their child was born in a stable. We can only imagine how they must have worried about how to protect their precious son from very real threat of death. They did not have full understanding of how things would work out, but they did believe that God was guiding them and would see them through the difficult times.
Our families are like the Holy Family in that way. We do not know for certain our future or what we as a family will have to deal with in this life. What we do know, by the example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is that we, too, can depend upon God to be with us. For when we depend upon God for our welfare, we will not be let down.
Rather, we will come to understand God’s constant and unconditional love for us. When we come to know that love, we are able to share it more freely with others. Love is what unites us. Love is what gives us the strength to accept one another’s flaws and to stand by and support one another despite them. Jesus was born that we might know LOVE. Let us joyfully live that reality!
May God Bless You and Your Family,
Happy New Year!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC