Dear Parishioners of Holy Family:
As the Church continues to reflect on the wonder of the Incarnation, she turns her attention to a meditation on the Holy Family. Not only did God become man and join his divine nature with our human nature, but he also lived in a human family. Jesus Christ, the co-eternal Son of God, lived with two very human parents, Mary and Joseph. Through this, God reveals that family life is holy and sacred. It is part of the divine plan and divine intention. It is in the context of the family that the faith is first witnessed and passed on. We see this in today’s gospel where Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for the feast of Passover. Unknown to his parents, Jesus stayed behind in the temple. The parents of Jesus thought he was somewhere in their travel party and when they discovered he wasn’t, they understandably panicked and rushed back to find him. I love the line where it says “Jesus went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to him.” (Luke 2:51). Jesus was obedient to his parents as a child. He showed them honor, love and respect. Mary and Joseph for their part gave Jesus his religious training and foundation by the example of their lives. In our families, parents have the incredible responsibility of training and raising the children entrusted to their care in the practice and understanding of the faith.
As we reflect further, the Holy Family is not unlike our own families. They had their struggles and challenges. Joseph had to make a living to support his wife and child. Mary, as well, had her worries and concerns in caring for her husband and child. The family lived in simplicity and did not have many possessions. What they did have was their faith in God, and their love for one another. Hopefully, our families can learn the valuable lessons of the Holy Family. May we all strive to live out our faith and to live with each other in love.
I hope everyone had a blessed and joyous Christmas celebration with their families, friends, and loved ones. A reminder that Tuesday, January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be 4 PM on Monday, December 31 and 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM on Thursday, January 1. Let us pray that 2019 is a year of bountiful blessings for our parish, our Church, and our world. Hopefully, the message of Christmas, “Peace on Earth” will become a clearer reality in the coming year.
Fr. Dennis Paul
Feast of the Holy Family
December 30, 2018