I have spent a lot time these past few weeks with my family; absolutely the best Christmas gift I get every year. I have also read quite a bit about the Holy Family in the past couple of days. If there is one truth I’ve come to know about families, we all experience the same things, we just experience them at different addresses on the street.
I’ll never forget a compliment someone paid me at my daughter Cecilia’s wedding. They compared our family to the Brady Bunch because we always seem to get along. I laughed and said for the most part, we do, but there are times when the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife in our house. I would think if you’re reading this, you probably have the same experiences. Good times are a part of life – an important part. It is because of the good times we experience with each other, we are able to get through the bad times. I used to wish as a child that I could have been born into a richer family, one with less kids, a house without as many rules and without an accompanying punishment when the rules of the house were broken. But something funny happened along the way. I realized why rules were important, why punishment for breaking those rules were important, why having my parents having as many children as they did was important. It was God’s way for a Holy Family. My parents were just trying to do what was right with God. And I’m sure your parents and you as parents, are following in the same tradition.
Do you think of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the same way as your family? I do now. God came to earth the experience life, human life, in its fullness. God came to earth birthed through a woman, living in a family. Did they have stress? Did not Joseph have to move his family to avoid the death of his son? I can’t imagine that was a walk in the park. Ever missplace one of your children – Sarah and I have multiple times – so did Joseph and Mary losing track of the Son of God only to find him a few days later in a temple? Try and explain that to God…”Joseph, how are things going down there?” “Hmm, pretty good God. Got a job here in Egypt and will be heading to Nazareth soon. Lost your Son. Mary is doing great, has adapted well to being a mother. Yeah, things are going really well down here.” “Good Joseph, glad to hear…wait, what – you lost Jesus?!!”. Did not Mary and Jesus grieve the loss of Joseph? So even the Holy Family had to deal with the same stresses of everyday life that we do – at least we have indoor plumbing.
So what is my point? Enjoy your family because they are the perfect family in the eyes of God. Enjoy the good, the bad, the fun, the boring, the good meals and the meals that serve brussel sprouts and barley soup. Life is an experience. Family is an experience. Enjoy the experience.
And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.
Do something great for our Lord today – tell your family you love them…it is as simple as that.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.