The Feast of The Holy Family
The Feast of The Holy Family is a Solemnity, a feast day, where we are given the beautiful opportunity to reflect on Jesus, Mary and Joseph, God’s Holy Family. The Holy Family are a model for every family; it is in them we can find inspiration and guidance, through times of happiness, joy and when we go through hardship, asking for their intercession in prayer. On this Feast Day, we pray in thanksgiving for the vocation to marriage, for all families and each member, for those discerning marriage, those who have recently married, those celebrating special anniversaries, and for the graces that family life can bring.
The Gospel today comes from Luke (Luke 2:22-40) and 'invites us to reflect on the experience lived by Mary, Joseph and Jesus, as they grow together as a family in mutual love and in trust in God' (Pope Francis, Feast of The Holy Family, 2017). Parents love to see their children flourish and grow and 'to acquire knowledge and receive the grace of God, just as happened to Jesus' (Pope Francis, 2017). Mary and Joseph had the wonderful experience of seeing Jesus grow, filled with the grace of God. Pope Francis ends his address by stating that: 'this is the mission to which the family is directed: to create conditions favourable to the harmonious and full growth of its children, so they may live a good life, worthy of God and constructive for the world'.
As we spend the Christmas Season with our families, let us pray in thanksgiving for them, asking for the guidance of The Holy Spirit. We also pray for those families who cannot be together or who struggle at this time, that through the healing power of God, there can be peace and unity. We call to mind the deceased members of our families, that they have their eternal reward with You in Heaven and give thanks for their inspiration. As we journey with The Holy Family to the stable and beyond, we hold in our hearts the importance of God’s will for our families, and may we be open to hear His call, just like Joseph and Mary.