This week’s Gospel gives us a glimpse inside the life of the Holy Family. Pictures of the Holy Family most often portray Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus adoringly. This makes it easy to imagine that they were always an extremely happy, perfect family and a dubious role model for today’s busy, rambunctious, diverse, and complex families. The Gospel today shows us that the Holy Family did have ups and downs, joys and sorrows, difficulties and resolutions.
I am sure every parent can identify with the panic felt by Mary and Joseph when they realized their son was missing. Just losing sight of your child for a minute in a grocery store, playground, or mall can cause your heart to race, adrenaline to surge, and mind to imagine the worst. Jesus was found after three days, and the Gospel ends by saying that Jesus returned to their home in Nazareth, where he would grow to adulthood.
The home that Mary and Joseph created in Nazareth, though poor, must have been built on the foundation of goodness and mutual love. It was within that family that Jesus learned the scriptures and how to reach out to the poor, lonely, and defenseless. Joseph and Mary must have nurtured their son in a beautiful way spiritually and morally. This is a role model every parent can look to.
Family is one of the most basic, yet important, gifts God has given us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls family “the Domestic Church” because this is the first place where young Christians learn about their faith from their parents, their primary educators. It is where children learn that they, too, have a responsibility to bring the light of Christ to the world. The Catechism continues, “The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections, and interests, arising above all from the members’ respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children’s upbringing.”
Jesus showed that we are to relish the love we experienced within our families and then expand that love to include the family of the world, seeing that we are all brothers and sisters and need to care for one another.
I hope you all are blessed by your families and friends during this beautiful season.
~ Sherry Watts, K-6 Coordinator