December 27, 2020 — The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
SIR 3:2-6, 12-14; PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; COL 3:12-21; LK 2:22-40
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They are a model for all families! And just as the Holy Family is holy, our families, too, are called to be holy. This may seem like a daunting task at times! Yet, as Christian stewards we know that this holiness is achievable by living as disciples of Christ.
Our First Reading, from the book of Sirach, teaches us about reverence and honor of the members of our family, particularly the elders. “My son, take care of your father when he is old… even if his mind fail, be considerate of him.” No matter our age, we are called to serve and honor our family members. Sometimes loving and serving those closest to us can be the hardest. But we have to remember that our families are a gift from God, and it is in serving them that we show our gratitude for this gift.
What more can we do to honor the blessing of family? St. Paul shares in our Second Reading a word of advice on how we can do just that. He calls us to put on “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another… as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.” This is how we ought to treat our family — with the love, compassion and mercy that God gives to us. If God can see every thought in our mind and every action we commit, good and bad, and never change His love for us, can we not share that same love and mercy with our family members? God has been so generous to us, so let us “[give] thanks to God the Father” by being good stewards of His love and mercy in our homes, and to our family members both near and far.
Our Gospel today says a great deal about trust and surrender to our Lord — two trademark words of a steward. As the Holy Family brought the Infant Jesus to the temple, they encountered two key individuals, Simeon and Anna. Upon seeing the Infant, both praised the Lord, rejoiced in the coming of their Savior and prophesized about what was to come. It says, “the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him.” We can imagine that two parents would be taken back by these words! Yet, through all this, the Holy Family surrendered their lives to God and had unwavering faith and trust in His plan. Thankfully, they did, because the fulfillment of this plan meant salvation for man!
Believe it or not, God has a plan for our lives, too. Oftentimes, we get in the way of what He has in store for us. Although our plan might be “good,” God’s plan is great and will fulfill our hearts more than we could have ever imagined. Like the Holy Family, we just need to trust, surrender and be attentive to God’s voice.
As we celebrate this Christmas season with joy and gladness for our Savior, let us deepen our commitment to Him through the love and service we give our family members, and the trust and surrender we place in God to take care of us each day.