Sunday, December 27, 2009



By a happy coincidence, this year the Feast of the Holy Family falls on the last Sunday of the year. This gives us a further reason to raise our minds and hearts
to God in gratitude for the many blessings He has granted our families during the year that is about to end.

Although we may not be fully aware of all the blessings we have received from the Lord, the little we know is more than enough to bring us to thank Him with all our hearts, especially through this Eucharistic Sacrifice.

This is also the time to entrust our own family, as well as all the families throughout the world, to the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth during the new year we are about to begin. May the Lord be the heart of our family. May we love and serve Him as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph did. May He watch over us as He loved and protected the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.

He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.


Praying together as a family seems no longer fashionable nowadays. The reasons are varied: so many commitments, conflicts of schedule, practical impossibility of being together.

There are, of course, happy exceptions of parents who, every evening, gather their children for some moments of reflection on the Word of God, reconciliation,
shared prayer, and recitation of the Rosary.

These same people are the ones who, on Sundays, attend the Eucharistic celebration as a family. From this, they derive strength, harmony, cohesion. And at the same time, they become an inspiration to the whole parish community. It is when the family gathers together for prayer that its members – both parents and children – see themselves under the common fatherly authority of God.

A family that renews every day its covenant with the Lord will have no time for endless bickerings, jealousy, unfaithfulness, harsh manners on the part of the parents, or rebellion on the part of their children. The families that pray together are really “little Churches.” One wishes that these exceptions might become ever more numerous, till they become the rule!

It is in the family that the reform of society begins, because it is there that we learn to respect and help one another, we practise patience and justice, we learn to share and to love in an unselfish and practical manner.

A family where God is at home is a family at peace. Such was the Holy Family at Nazareth. And the yearly celebration of its feast is not just a well-deserved tribute paid to its three members.

It is also an invitation and encouragement to make our families today what the family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus was in those days – a haven of love of God and neighbor at its best, a home where God felt at home.