Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (A) (30th December)
Sir 3:2-6.12-14 or Col 3:12-21;Ps 127:1-5. (R. cf. v. 1);
Holy Family consists of Jesus, Blessed Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. Veneration of the Holy Family formally began in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a Confraternity. And the Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honour of the trio. Since the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the feast is celebrated on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day (both exclusive), or on 30 December when both Christmas Day and New Year's Day (the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) are Sundays.
Topic: Shared responsibility.
In today’s gospel, Saint Joseph in obedience to the message of an angel took Mary and Jesus to Egypt. And after the death of Herod, he brought them back to the land of Israel and settled in Nazareth also in obedience to the message through an angel.
Saint Joseph, the head of the family (cf. Eph 5:23) protected the holy family from danger. He was ever obedient to the will of God made known to him through His angel while carrying out this function. Mary and Jesus obeyed him as they ought.
As we celebrate the feast of the holy family, it is necessary to look briefly at some of the things expected from every member of the family. Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reads,
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands....Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her... (Eph 5:21-22.25-26).
In his letter to the Colossians he also admonished all, “Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart” (Col 3:19-21; cf. Eph 6:1-4).
As we honour the holy family today, we must remember always that this family is the model for every Christian family. It is necessary for every one of us to consider how he/she is fulfilling his/her duties in the family. For a family to be what it should be, husband, wife, and child/ren must work together. None of them can do it alone as we see in the holy family. It is a shared responsibility. The bible also tells us that Jesus was obedient to Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary, cf. Lk 2:51. Let us emulate the holy family and make the world a better place starting from our respective families.
Bible Reading: 1Cor 7:1-16; Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18–4:1.
Thought for today: Being responsible in your family.
Let us pray: Lord, the author of every Christian family, give every man, woman, and child the grace to fulfil his/her obligations in the family – Amen.
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