December 28, 2014 – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Sir 3: 2-6, 12-14; Ps 128: 1-5; Col 3: 12-21; Lk 2: 22-40
St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, the second reading on this Feast of the Holy Family, points out qualities which not only are commendable in family members, but also in those who pursue stewardship as a way of life. Paul says, “Put on…heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” That is good advice under almost all circumstances.
For us the Holy Family exemplifies what it means to be a family and how members of a family need to relate to one another. Certainly all of the above virtues speak to relationships between people. St. Paul suggests that how we treat one another is one of the most important considerations to being a true follower of the Lord.
“Over all these, put on love.” How many times does Jesus remind us that the one commandment to which we need to be faithful is to “love one another?” Love is never easy, just as good stewardship is not easy. Love requires effort and commitment, and the willingness to forgive, which Paul also emphasizes. In terms of family relationships we must work at loving one another, and we especially have to strive to forgive one another. St. Paul calls love the “bond of perfection.” We cannot be perfect, of course, but we can love if we work at it. And we can use that love to make our relationships within our families better and more complete.