Feast of the Holy Family
December 30, 2022
Matthew 2:13-15, 10-23
We are celebrating today the feast of the Holy Family. Today’s first reading extols the great blessing that is a family. “The Lord honors the father above the children and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons. Whoever respects a father expiates sins, whoever honors a mother is like someone amassing a fortune.” (Sirach 3:2-3). In the Gospel, Joseph listens and obeys the heavenly Father through an angel that guides him on what to do with his son. Both Mary and Joseph listened, respected, and followed the will of the Father—all the way from Bethlehem, to Nazareth until Calvary.
In his address at the Vigil of the Festival of Families in Philadelphia, USA, during the World Meeting of Families in September 2015, Pope Francis called the family the most beautiful thing that God ever created. The family is the best wonder of the world, and even the famous 7 wonders of the world pale in comparison. He says this: “But the most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family. He created man and woman, and He gave them everything. He gave them the world! Grow, multiply, cultivate the earth, make it produce, make it grow. He presented to a family all of the love that He made in this marvelous creation… All of the love that God has in Himself, all of the beauty that God has in Himself, all of the truth that God has in Himself, He gives to the family. And a family is truly a family when it is able to open its arms and receive all of this love.”
Jesus, the redeemer, was born and nurtured in a family. And so was the plan of God to restore humanity back to himself. In the same World Meeting of Families quoted above, Pope Francis says this: “And His Son, where did He send Him? To a palace? To a city, to start a business? He sent Him to a family! God came into the world in a family. And he was able to do this because this family was a family that had its heart open to love, that had the doors open to love.”
Nothing goes to the world without passing through the family—good or bad. In Familiaris Consortio, Saint John Paul II said this: “The future of the world and the Church passes through the family.”
The wellspring of the family is the womb. Destroy the womb and you destroy the family. Destroy the family and you destroy even the world. Today, a lot of ideologies have been framed to gang up against the womb of the mother. Taking it from the Scriptures that our enemies are not flesh and blood but the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), we can only know who is behind all this—Satan (See Revelation 12:1-6). It is ironic that even legislation and global organizations are used to destroy the family.
1. Reflect on the many ways that you can help protect, promote and even rebuild families.
2. Reflect on the values that were lived in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Nazareth.