Note: The scripture readings for the liturgies between Christmas and Epiphany offer us a variety of references so you may hear different scriptures at your parish than your relatives heard at their’s. I don’t want to take up the whole page listing them, so I’ll leave that to your ability to make your selections. The bottom line, will still focus on the reality of the Holy Family.
Because the Feast of Xmas is date specific and there are celebrations that are slated for the days in between Xmas and Epiphany we always loose one or another of the feasts in the Xmas weeks. Today we stick with celebration of the Holy Family. In thinking about this Feast I couldn’t help but reflect on the way art so often can skew our images by sentimentalizing the reality that Jesus was born into a real time and place and was like us “in all things but sin.” Therefore, He lived through life like any Palestinian of His time; spending a lot of His energy just eeking out the necessities of day to day living. My experience of the years I spent in Africa gave me a better image of what Mary and Joseph and Jesus had to do to just survive: fetching water; walking great distances to get a simple board in order to make a table or plow. Still their life was focused on being in union with God and there was a desire to be in harmony with all creation. They followed the Jewish customs regarding prayer over all their actions and duties. Would that we might follow their example. Let us pray for our own families especially any that are faced with difficulties of one kind or another. May the example of the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus give us some insight into how best to make our own families be a means to our growth in holiness and an ability to live in peace with one another for the good of all. If we really care for each other in our families and seek the good of each member I’m sure our world could begin to make a turn for the better. This process might best begin by getting the family to pray together as often as possible. Amen!