A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY – CYCLE “C” – DECEMBER 30TH, 2018 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
You know, it is bad enough to lose something of value or importance, but it is much worse, when you lose something that doesn’t belong to you. You feel terrible. You feel like someone trusted you with something, and that you were unworthy of that trust. We can lose other people’s books, or tools, or articles of clothing. And you do feel bad. And most likely you need to replace the item that you lost, but did not belong to you. A few months ago, I lost a friend’s watch. I am constantly losing watches. You see, I hate to wear a watch, but I also constantly need to know what time it is, so that I’m not late for things, and so that I don’t start Mass late. Because a lot of times I take my watch off before Mass, I have left watches in church sacristies all over the world. So, again a few months ago, I lost my watch, my friend let me borrow his watch, and then I lost that one also! I lost two watches in one day, and the one watch wasn’t even mine! I felt horrible. I had to buy my friend a new watch. And of course, three days after I bought the new one, I found the one he loaned me! But you do feel terrible when you lose something that doesn’t belong to you.
I can only imagine, then, how Mary and Joseph must have felt when they lost the child Jesus. Remember, this was the child that Mary had said to having, to the Archangel Gabriel. And this was the child that Joseph had been told in the dream, that it was OK to marry His mother, Mary. Clearly, this was a very special child Who was a gift from God, and who belonged more to God, than He did to either Mary or Joseph. And they lost Him for three days? Mary and Joseph must have felt just horrible. Filled with concern for His safety and certainly with at least a little bit of righteous annoyance, the parents return to Jerusalem where they the child Jesus, not with children of His own age, but with the elders. We can imagine their emotions and fears before they found Him, and their relief and joy when found Him safe. God had heard their prayers. God had taken care of their Son, even when He was lost.
And maybe that Faith is what we need to notice most, about the Holy Family. Life in the Holy Family was NOT always easy. In fact, frequently, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph faced challenges that we can’t today begin to imagine. And they did so with a Faith, a Hope, and a Love that was out of this world, it was from God! That Faith, Hope, and Love made all the difference for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, no matter what was going on in their lives. We want to live the same with in all of our families! Today is not much easier for families than what it was two-thousand years ago. There are real challenges out there, that are trying to rip us apart. Like Mary and Joseph in the raising of Jesus, we need ensure that our children are brought up as part of a worshipping and faith-filled community, where they can grow in grace and favor, even in the face of life’s struggles and challenges. A family is a most special and sacred thing.
Today’s Feast sets before us the truth that, with God’s help and despite all the challenges of life, we can grow together in goodness and holiness. Imagine what a difference we could make in our own families if we sought to understand more fully, what St. John is talking about in our Second Reading today, that we already share a holy dignity as God’s children, and that we have a holy destiny that has yet to be revealed. God is at work in our families, all of our families!
On this Feast Day, let us invite Jesus Christ to bring His loving presence into our families today. May He bind us together in His love, heal our divisions and hurts, and allow us to give ourselves to God and to each other unselfishly. May God make us Holy families. And may we never lose what God has given to us, namely His love and His grace!
+ God bless us on this Feast day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!