Feast of The Holy Family
All recognize the season of Christmas as family time. Families gather from near and far to celebrate the birth of Jesus in particular ways preserved in family memories and cultural and religious traditions. Such traditions and memorial observances are precious gifts handed down through the generations.
With that particular focus on family life, we gather each year on the Sunday after Christmas to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The readings invite us into a reflection on the real challenges of family life, the joys, and sorrows, the hopes and disappointments, the strengths and vulnerabilities, as lived by the Holy Family and as portrayed in the infancy narratives of the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
The gospel of Luke begins and ends in the Temple, and it is there that we go on this Holy Family Sunday. Mary and Joseph have brought the child Jesus to observe the precepts of the law. They encounter Simeon and Anna, representatives of the faithful remnant, watching and waiting for the time of fulfillment, a time realized in the child Simeon now holds in his arms. It was a moment that evoked from the lips of Simeon a prayer (which has become a canticle sung at night prayer every day) that announces joyfully, “My eyes have seen your salvation.” His dream fulfilled!
The hopes and dreams of families are fulfilled in Jesus, but not without pain, suffering, and sadness, as predicted by Simeon. In all our families, there are hopes and dreams for our futures, especially our children’s. Let us place them all in the hands of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
Let Us Pray:
Lord, enable us to be a light wherever there is darkness.