A Functioning Family of God is Divinely Structured Merry Christmas!
We celebrated the birth of Jesus yesterday. Jesus, the redeemer of the world was born into the family of Mary and Joseph. The incarnation took place within a human family, a holy family. What a great insight is unveiled for us to see today-holiness is found embedded in the human family. Within the divinely ordered structure of the family- dad, mom, and children, a human interrelationship, a life ordered to the glory and reflection of God’s familial relationship is made manifest. This is good news. Merry Christmas! Reciprocity and co-responsibility are germane to the internal relationship of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This inter-dialogue and inter-relationship are sewn into the structure of the human family. As Sirach (3: 2-6, 12-14) and Colossians (3:12-17) reveal to us in the liturgy of the word, fathers play roles that are different from roles played by mothers, and children have specific responsibilities toward their parents. Each one is ordered to a particular, yet similar role based on the Christian principle of love and respect. With love comes responsibility. Once each member of the family is aware of the responsibilities it owes others, a family is on its way to holiness. Holiness as I said in the first instance is established within the human family with all its imperfections. The holy family of Jesus, Mary and Jesus is not without its own stress. In the Gospel account according to Luke 2: 41-52, we hear the story of the holy family in Jerusalem to attend the feast of Passover when Jesus was twelve. After the celebration, Jesus was found missing and the distressed Mary and Joseph found him after three days. “Son, why have you done this to us?” Mary says to Jesus after finding him in the temple. There are many occasions parents have said something similar about their children when they fall short of their expectations. Families going through periods of difficulties, be it on account of failed parenting or marriage, misbehaving or wayward child, let it be known that the holy family had its several moments of hardships and disappointments. Holiness is not without difficulties. Raising your children and making your home a Christian home is not a guarantee of freedom from moments of frights and worries. Those stress-filled moments are part of the ingredients that make up the holy family. With the example of the Holy Family as a guide, let us make it our goal to structure our family on the principle of faith, love, and responsibility to one another. Let us take our family problems to God in prayer, asking for the intercession of the Holy Family.
Merry Christmas to all families of St. Peter.
Fr. Bernard, OP