December 26, 2021 - The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
“Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.”
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Gospel according to Luke 2:41-52
by Sister Jane Hibbard, SNJM
Perhaps you have a lovely, homey idea of the Holy Family: Mary, Joseph, and Jesus
as they begin those early years in Galilee. First, the angel instructed them to get out of town and go to Egypt, to escape persecution. That was no small trek. They didn’t get to go home. What a beginning! What was lifelike for the Holy Family between babyhood and when Jesus shows up next in today’s Gospel. What do you imagine?
Then, we hear in the Gospel today, on an annual trip to celebrate Passover, Jesus follows his heart and wanders off to the temple to learn more about his ministry and where it would lead him. Did he know his parents were anxiously looking for him?
And then, if we follow the calendar, there are the years when the Holy Family is in Nazareth,
living among the people until Jesus is about thirty. Jesus was always God and man, but did he gradually grow into an understanding of what that meant? I always imagine the Holy Family as kind and compassionate to one another and to their neighbors, but did they have their moments of irritation like we do? They were human.
Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Our lives are a constant striving to imitate the Holy Family. To live in the community, we are called to be with, each day of our lives, takes love and compassion! When we get weary or impatient, we ask for forgiveness. And we know that the Holy Family had this same experience.
Please take some time to ponder in silence what the Holy Family can teach us.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.” Prologue v. 41
“Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Colossians 3:15a, 16a