Feast of the Holy Family
I Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28
I John 3: 1-2, 1-24
Luke 2: 41-52
Today we celebrate the Feast Day of the Holy Family and there is so much “Good News” in our readings. The Church in her great wisdom and glory, wants to remind us that we are in the “Christmas Season” it is still a joyous season, and the first story they give us sort of takes that joy, and pops it like a big balloon. We are still invited to the “Good News” of the Holy Family, by Pope Francis, who invites us to remember that we are number three, behind God, others, and then ourselves. The other good news, that makes this feast day so special, is I am going to be a grandfather! That news changing everything for me, as now I get a redo on some things. There goes the fishing trips, the hunting trip, it is all going to be seeing that grandchild.
The really “Good News” about this feast day is that it is so real, so easy to relate to it. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, and it is not them in prayer, or doing some great service project, but Jesus being left behind and Mary & Joseph, once they realize he has been left behind go out of their minds searching for Jesus. Many a parent knows the feeling of missing our children, hopefully not for three days but for three minutes. One time I was at Great America with my daughter Meggin, and she was about three. She went down this big slide, and I was waiting for her at the other side which I thought she would come out. However, there were two ways of coming down the slide, and I was in terror searching for her, and then she comes walking up with a big smile on her face.
The “Good News” of the Holy Family is they teach us to be attentive to the unknown and the un-understood things that happen in family life, because it is in those things that God is calling us to a new understanding. Our kids, are not just our own, they belong to God. Like Hannah in our first reading, we need to dedicate our kids and our grand kids to God and know that he will look out for them. And finally, to know, to do what Mary does, “she holds, all these things in her heart.” She did not understand it all at that time. It was too much. She held these things in her heart and reflected on it.
The “Good News” of the Holy family is you do not need to try to be like them, because you are already like them. You inspire me to be what I am called to be. I read a great quote, by Elizabeth Stone, “To have children, is to make the decision to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.” This is what God decided to do by creating all of us!
In this Eucharist, may we be given the strength and the grace to try once again to strive to be the holy family of God.