We Are Family

Sunday, December 27th 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Christmas Day has come and gone, however when many in our community are putting away the Christmas Tree and decorations, we Catholic Christians continue to have our Christmas Cheer and ornaments on full display.  The Sunday following Christmas Day Catholics celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  Just as the Holy Family is holy, we are also called to be holy. This holiness is achievable by living as disciples of Christ.   

Family relationships are a person’s first experiences in life. Children are nurtured, taught, and socialized in the family, and from there they learn to relate to others and navigate the broader society. A stable family offers the emotional security a child needs for healthy growth. As sources of social development, few relationships are more important than family ties between parents and their children.

The proverb “charity begins at home” we are familiar with expresses the overriding demand to take care of one’s family, before caring for others.  However, our family members and the ones we care the most about are often the ones we treat the worst.  Saint Paul calls us to put on “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience… as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.”  Let us “give thanks to God the Father” by being useful instruments of His love and mercy to all our family members. 

Today’s Gospel says a lot about trust and surrender to our Lord. When Simeon and Anna prophesized about what the future had in store, Jesus’ parents were “amazed at what was said about him.” We can imagine that two parents would be taken back by these words! Yet, the Holy Family surrendered their lives to God and had unwavering faith and trust in His divine plan. 

God’s plan will fulfill our hearts more than we could have ever imagined. Like the Holy Family, we just need to place our trust, surrender and be attentive to God’s voice.  We are reminded to be kind to one another and especially the members of our family whom God has called to be holy and happy in the example of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.