ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF
JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH:
WHY DID JESUS COME INTO THE WORLD IN A FAMILY?
“O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards
(Opening Prayer, Mass of the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph).”
This coming Sunday, the entire Catholic Church will celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. HAVE YOU EVER REFLECTED ON THE PROFOUND SIGNIFICANCE AND CONSEQUENCES ON WHY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CHOSE TO ENTER INTO THE WORLD THROUGH A FAMILY?
In his Dec. 17, 2014 General Audience, Pope Francis spoke of the “THE HOLY FAMILY AS A MODEL FOR ALL FAMILIES.” In the midst of the “normality of life in Nazareth”, the task of each Christian family— AS MARY AND JOSEPH DID — is TO WELCOME JESUS, LISTEN TO HIM, SPEAK WITH HIM, GUARD HIM, PROTECT HIM, GROW WITH HIM in the heart and life of each member of the family, imitating their example and virtues in family life, and in this way, we can improve the world.
“THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD OPENS A NEW BEGINNING IN THE UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF MAN AND WOMAN. AND THIS NEW BEGINNING HAPPENS WITHIN A FAMILY, in Nazareth. Jesus was born in a family. He could have come in a spectacular way, or as a warrior, an emperor…. No, no: he is born in a family, in a family. This is important: to perceive in the nativity, this beautiful scene…GOD CHOSE TO COME INTO THE WORLD IN A HUMAN FAMILY, WHICH HE HIMSELF FORMED. He formed it in a remote village on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. Not in Rome, which was the capital of the Empire, not in a big city, but on its nearly invisible outskirts, indeed, of little renown.”
“In Nazareth everything seemed to happen ‘normally’, according to the customs of a pious and hardworking Israelite family: they worked, the mother cooked, did all the housework, ironed shirts…. all the things mothers do. The father, a carpenter, worked, taught his son the trade. Thirty years. “But what a waste, Father!”. God works in mysterious ways. But what was important there was the family! And this was not a waste! They were great saints: Mary, the holiest woman, immaculate, and Joseph, a most righteous man…. The family.”
“It is certainly not difficult to IMAGINE HOW MUCH MOTHERS COULD LEARN FROM MARY’S CARE FOR THAT SON! And HOW MUCH FATHERS COULD GLEAN FROM JOSEPH’S EXAMPLE, A RIGHTEOUS MAN, WHO DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO SUPPORTING AND PROTECTING THE CHILD AND HIS WIFE — HIS FAMILY — IN DIFFICULT TIMES.”
“Not to mention HOW MUCH CHILDREN COULD BE ENCOURAGED BY THE ADOLESCENT JESUS TO UNDERSTAND THE NECESSITY AND BEAUTY OF CULTIVATING THEIR MOST PROFOUND VOCATION AND OF DREAMING GREAT DREAMS! In those 30 years, Jesus cultivated his vocation, for which the Father had sent him. And in that time, Jesus never became discouraged, but increased in courage in order to carry his mission forward.”
“EACH CHRISTIAN FAMILY CAN FIRST OF ALL — AS MARY AND JOSEPH DID — WELCOME JESUS, LISTEN TO HIM, SPEAK WITH HIM, GUARD HIM, PROTECT HIM, GROW WITH HIM; AND IN THIS WAY IMPROVE THE WORLD. LET US MAKE ROOM IN OUR HEART AND IN OUR DAY FOR THE LORD. As Mary and Joseph also did, and it was not easy: how many difficulties they had to overcome! They were not a superficial family, they were not an unreal family. THE FAMILY OF NAZARETH URGES US TO REDISCOVER THE VOCATION AND MISSION OF THE FAMILY, OF EVERY FAMILY. And, what happened in those 30 years in Nazareth, can thus happen to us too: in seeking to make love and not hate normal, making mutual help commonplace, not indifference or enmity.”
“Since then, each time there is a family that keeps this mystery [of God coming into the world in a family], even if it were on the periphery of the world, the mystery of the Son of God, the mystery of Jesus who comes to save us, the mystery is at work. He comes to save the world.
And THIS IS THE GREAT MISSION OF THE FAMILY: TO MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS WHO IS COMING, TO WELCOME JESUS IN THE FAMILY, IN EACH MEMBER: CHILDREN, HUSBAND, WIFE, GRANDPARENTS…. JESUS IS THERE. WELCOME HIM THERE, IN ORDER THAT HE SPIRITUALLY IN THE FAMILY.”
JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH, WE ENTRUST TO YOU OUR FAMILY. MAY ALL THE MEMBERS OF OUR FAMILY MAKE ROOM FOR YOU IN OUR HEART AND LIFE. PROTECT OUR FAMILIES, KEEP US SAFE, PROVIDE FOR OUR MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS AND LEAD EACH ONE OF US TO THE ETERNAL VISION OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY! AMEN.
Cordially inviting you to visit and like our FB page in http://www.fb.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness or sign-up to our website, http://www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.com, so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei.
For the entire text of Pope Francis’ Discourse, see http://www.news.va/en/news/at-the-general-audience-the-pope-points-to-the-nor