From the Pastor's Desk
THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY & JOSEPH
On the last Sunday of the year, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. We are here to offer all the members of our own families on the altar for God’s blessing.
The first reading (Gen 15:1-6, 21: 1-3) Today we hear God’s promise (Chapter 15), of numerous descendants to Abraham whom Judaism, Christianity, Islam consider their father, and its fulfillment (Chapter 21) when Abraham’s wife, Sarah, gave birth to Isaac.
In the second reading, taken from the letter to the Hebrews, the sacred author further shows us the trusting faith of Abraham in the promises of God, first, in Abraham’s willingness to move his whole family to an unknown place to which God said He would lead him; second, in the way Abraham and Sarah trusted God’s power to give them a son born to them in their very old age and third, in the way Abraham’s unwavering Faith in his God enabled him to obey, without hesitation, his God’s order to sacrifice his only son.
Today’s Gospel presents the head of the Holy Family, Joseph, faithfully obeying God’s law given through Moses concerning the purification of the mother and the redeeming of the child by presenting Mary and the Baby Jesus in the Temple. The events recounted here are also found on February 2nd, the Feast of Presentation of Jesus.
1) We need to learn lessons from the Holy Family: The Church encourages us to look to the Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for inspiration, example and encouragement. They were a model family in which both parents worked hard, helped each other, understood and accepted each other, and took good care of their Child so that Jesus might grow up not only in human knowledge but also as a Child of God.
2) We need to make the family a confessional rather than a courtroom. A senior Judge of the Supreme Court congratulated the bride and groom in a marriage with a pertinent piece of advice: “See that you never convert your family into a courtroom; instead let it be a confessional. If the husband and wife start arguing like attorneys in an attempt to justify their behavior, their family becomes a court of law and nobody wins. On the other hand, if the husband and the wife -- as in a confessional -- are ready to admit their faults and try to correct them, the family becomes a heavenly one.”
3) Marriage is a sacrament of holiness. Each family is called to holiness. By the Sacrament of Matrimony (marriage), Jesus sanctifies not only the spouses but also the entire family. The husband and wife attain holiness when they discharge their duties faithfully, trusting in God, and drawing on the power of God by prayer.