This Sunday, we honor the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I know that all families have interesting histories, but the Holy Family has an especially powerful story. Did Mary speak about the visit from the angel with her friends? Did Joseph talk with his fellow carpenters or neighbors about his intention to divorce Mary and the dream telling him otherwise? Did they tell Jesus the story of his birth as he grew up? What was Jesus like as a toddler or a 5-year old? Did he play with neighbor kids, or did he spend his time reading Hebrew religious texts, aspiring to be a rabbi? Was he Joseph's carpentry assistant? Did Mary and Joseph talk about money or where to live? There is an ancient book of Thomas which has Jesus doing supernatural things as a child. It wasn't accepted into the sacred canon of scripture. We can see only a brief and minimal view of Christ's upbringing.
Our modern sensibility looks for the analysis of family life, causes, traumas, and dynamics to understand family life. The early church fathers saw little need for this. The Church offers us this day to honor the Holy Family through which the infant Jesus becomes the adult tempted in the desert, declaring to some fisherman to follow him and he will make them fishers of men. The Holy Family brought the gift of the infant Jesus with its beauty, glory, and songs of hosanna to the adulthood of Christ so that his mission may be accomplished. His mission was no less than the salvation of the world. This he indeed accomplished with his stainless life and his cruel but sanctifying death and resurrection. May all our families carry us through to the fulfillment of our mission to love each other and to honor and glorify God. May God support, heal, and sustain all families.
(Gen 15:1-6;21:1-3; Heb 11:8,11-12,17-19; Luke 2:22-40)
“Pure souls shall form a circle round our Lord. The purer we have been on earth, the nearer we shall be to him in Heaven.
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars