First Reading: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-21
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Today’s Feast of the Holy Family calls us to think about our own families whether they be by blood, adoption, friendship, church or religious communities. We often take our families for granted, but with some reflection, we come to appreciate the gift they are in our lives. Not all families are healthy ones but they have contributed to who we are – even if that means learning how not to be.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph are a good example of a real family. At the birth of Jesus, the family didn’t have a place to stay because they were on their way to Bethlehem for the census. Following his birth, the family had to escape to Egypt because the child’s life was in danger. At twelve years old, Jesus remains behind in Jerusalem as his parents start for home, soon realizing he is missing. Today there are many families that are homeless, families fleeing dangerous situations, and families who have missing children. We need to remember that the family of Jesus was real and not just a storybook family.
The readings for today are clear on how we should act within our families. The second reading from Colossians says it best – so most of the reading follows.
Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Does this reading from Colossians describe you and your family? How can you practice some of these actions in your life and family?
In what ways do you show appreciation for your family? How can you let them know how important they are to you?