Each year the Sunday following Christmas is celebrated as the Feast of the Holy Family. Each year a different gospel gives us a unique glimpse of our Lord’s family on earth. This year we hear how the Holy Family is threatened by King Herod who wants to kill Jesus. Today family life is threatened still but not by an evil king, but by more subtle forces of evil that eat away at family life, harmony, and support. The lure of materialism, consumerism, hedonism (the pursuit of pleasure) tend to make things more important than relationships. The bonds between family members often become brittle and break. The frantic pace of work, school, and extra- curricular activities prevent family members from joining together in common activities. Even regular meals are eaten at different times so that Mom and Dad can chauffer their children to different events.
The Holy Family did not have all the diversions that compete for our time and attention. They spent a lot of time together. If we want to prevent our families from becoming dysfunctional, and if we want them to become healthy and Holy, then we need to find ways and make sacrifices so that they can have more time together as a family. And if our families become Holy, they will be happier and more joyful.
- Fr. Carl