Today we celebrate the Holy Family
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Holy Family (December 30, 2022): SIR 3:2-6,12-14; PS 128:1-2,3,4-5; MT 2:13-15,19-23
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their life together as models for all family members in loving and supporting each other every day.
This feast day paying tribute to the family life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is fairly recent in the history of the Church, being established about a century ago; it was made part of the Christmas season in 1969. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the importance of families with a special emphasis on faith and on spiritual unity and growth in the home. Today’s Gospel reveals just how difficult life became for the Holy Family within a short time after the birth of Jesus. King Herod wanted to destroy the one he feared would threaten his reign as King of the Jews. So after learning of their danger from an angel while he slept, Joseph immediately traveled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus. And so, for the first time, they had to build a whole new life among strangers. It would not be the last time. “When (Joseph) heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazorean” (Matthew 2:22-23).
The Holy Family returned to Israel, but now they had to start over yet again with a new community, new neighbors, and a new home. Joseph had to restart his livelihood as a carpenter to support the three of them. They did what they had to do, because what mattered was God’s will. And God’s will for Jesus’ mother Mary and His foster father Joseph was raising their Child well, knowing that He, too, would was obeying the will of our Eternal Father in all things. Ultimately, that is what should matter most to each of us. God created every person to welcome His love and grace and to share it with others -- at home and wherever we go.
Suggested missionary action: From the Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who while Coadjutor Archbishop of Saigon spent 13 years in a Vietnamese prison, we have this lovely prayer: “Mary, my mother, Joseph, my father, give me your eyes to contemplate Jesus; give me your hearts and spirits to understand Him. Give me your will so that I may work for Him with my whole heart and mind without growing weary. Give me your soul so that I may endlessly proclaim: Jesus my Lord and my all!”