“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. …
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 “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Your children like olive plants around your table. … The Lord bless you … all the days of your life.” (Psalm 128:1-2,3,5)
Since we celebrated the birth of the Christ Child only a few days ago, we may think of this Feast of the Holy Family as somewhat repetitious. But, away from the special joy of Christmas with all its religious and cultural traditions, we take this time to reflect on the Holy Family as a family. Rather than the story of the Nativity from the Gospels according to Ss. Matthew and Luke, we look beyond to the lives of three ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances that were generally obscured from the people around them. Despite the singing of angels and the worship of shepherds and wise men, that the Infant Son of Mary is also the Son of God is not something the Holy Family proclaimed. Instead the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph witness to the Divine value placed on every family and each individual member of the family. In the First Reading, we are told that “God sets a father in honor over His children; a mother’s authority He confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins. … He stores up riches who reveres His mother. … Whoever reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother” (Sirach 3:2-3,4,6).
Children, both young and grown, have an obligation to respect and honor their parents. Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, who served as the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, wrote: “Our Lord spent three hours in redeeming, three years in teaching, and thirty years in obeying. … He, the great God whom the heavens and earth could not contain submitted Himself to His parents. … (All) may ponder well the hint of a Child subject to His parents, that no heavenly call is ever to be trusted that bids one neglect the obvious duties that lie near to hand.” In the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, we also see the duties of mothers and fathers in caring for their children not only physically and emotionally, but also spiritually. The welfare of youngsters and their development as people of good character and -- above all -- as children of God is essential. Together, parents and children can learn much from the ongoing love and devotion of the Holy Family toward one another.