January 2, 2018

Reflection on the Holy Family

“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.” —Pope Francis, General Audience, December 17, 2014

Christmas celebrates the fruit of Mary and Joseph’s trust in God. The long-awaited Messiah, sent to save us from our sins and win back the eternal blessedness lost by Adam’s sin, is born. The Son of God is like us in all things but sin. We learn  from the Incarnation that our success is in God’s hands. Without the Father’s love, we would be lost for all eternity. Mary and Joseph sacrificed greatly to make the arduous journey to Bethlehem, to obey God’s directive to flee into Egypt, and to go to Nazareth to raise Jesus. Ambiguity, uncertainty, and brokenness touched the Holy Family. Their lives teach us that we cannot understand God’s designs.

This wonderful lesson urges parents to put their families in God’s hands and trust that their efforts will bear fruit. Faithful parents are examples for us, whether single or married. We, too, are to put ourselves in God’s hands. In so doing, God’s grace helps us realize better the depths of who we are and what we are called to become.

Let us pray, asking the Holy Spirit to give us the courage in difficult times to imitate the Holy Family.

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This article is an excerpt from “Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter Reflections: Cultivating the Gift of Self” by Fr. Robert J. Hater, PhD, which was part of a series of
articles for Catechetical Sunday 2010.
Copyright © 2010, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to duplicate this
work without adaption for non-commercial use.