December 27, 2015 — The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
We celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph today. This feast was instituted a little more than 100 years ago because at that time, just as today, the concept of family was under attack. Pope Leo XIII, who served from 1878 to 1903, felt that in Europe in particular the family was in crisis.
The Gospels do not tell us much about the Holy Family in the years from Jesus’ birth to the beginning of His public ministry. We are aware that they fled to Egypt, returned to Nazareth, and today’s Gospel reading tells us of the twelve-year-old Jesus accompanying His parents to Jerusalem. Today we honor that Holy Family, and we understand that they are a model for us as a Christian family. However, there is also an understanding that we need to be aware that we are part of a bigger family, our faith community as a Church and as a parish.
Just as a family unit cannot function properly without each member playing a part, that is true of our local parish family as well. Each of us needs to play a role and to contribute as a member of that family. That is what stewardship is all about. We must be stewards for our personal families to function, and we must also be good stewards for our parish family to be effective.