(I would like to share with you this reflection I wrote for the Feast of the Holy Family last December).
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and
Joseph. We are celebrating the gift of a Family! God himself wanted to be born
within a family to be nurtured and educated. We learn to love and live within
our families as Jesus did.
We know that Jesus is fully human and fully divine; this is why we can
say that he learned his values and virtues from his parents. Virtues like
generosity, respect, love, truthfulness, honesty among many others. Saint
Joseph also taught him his workmanship that allowed him to make a living. Saint
Joseph was a carpenter, through his work he was able to provide for his family
and give glory to God. How do you imagine their relationship?
There is one scene from the movie “The Passion of the Christ” that
moved me very much. Is the scene when
Jesus is working on a dining set and Mary comes to tell him that lunch is ready.
After, the movie shows them both been playful with each other…I guess this
could have been part of their day to day conversation. That scene is full of
tenderness and love. It amazes me because it shows Jesus working to provide for
his mother whom He loved very much. Second, because it shows the relationship
that probably they both had, their sense of humor and service to each other. I
think that among many other scenes that the producers had to cut off to make it
to the theaters, they left that one because it is in the heart of his own
family that he cultivated his gifts, virtues and talents that made him fully
available to respond to the Father’s Plan for himself and for the whole
humanity, to give His life on the Cross so that we may live.
The family is the heart of our society because it is in the family that
every human being learns to respond to God’s plan. How do we respond to God’s
plan? We respond by choosing every day to do good or evil. I think that the
Holy Family gave a deeper meaning to family life and to the vocation of
marriage. A man and a woman give themselves fully to love and to be loved, becoming a living and fruitful sign of God's love in the world. We have been created to love and to be loved and we learn how to live
it within our families.
Pope Benedict XVI said "The Holy Family is an icon of the domestic
Church, which is called to pray together. The family is the first school of
prayer where, from their infancy, children learn to perceive God thanks to
the teaching and example of their parents. An authentically Christian education
cannot neglect the experience of prayer. If we do not learn to pray in the
family, it will be difficult to fill this gap later. I would, then, like to
invite people to rediscover the beauty of praying together as a family,
following the school of the Holy Family of Nazareth".
The constant attacks to the family in our culture today are stunning…we
need to be aware that the heart of our society is the family and if our society
is in crisis, then the family is in crisis too. Is also important to remember
that we are sinners and the effects of our sin in society are many.
It is possible that many of us didn’t have a perfect family, and
the experiences we had may have influenced the way we think about and live our
own family life. However, we are not determined by our past or weaknesses. When
a runner trains for a race, he won’t be able to reach his victory if he only
sees his weakness. He trains because he knows that it is in working out to
overcome his weaknesses that he will be able to reach the victory. We are born
to be happy and to help those around us to reach their own happiness. Let us look at
the Holy Family of Nazareth and follow their example of love.
Labels: Family, Jesus, Mary