This past Sunday was the Feast Day of The Holy Family. May all Catholic Families come to know the peace, joy, and love that was so evident in their home and in their life together.
God shows His love for us in many ways; and one of the most significant ways is through "the family".
By its very nature, "family" is symbolic of the Most Holy Trinity, for as God's love therein, between the First Person of the Father and the Second Person of the Son, is so real and so true and so tangible that it burst forth in the Third Person of the Spirit, so too does the love of man and wife, one woman, one man, in the holy Sacrament of Matrimony, come to its fullness in such a real and tangible way that a new and completely unique person comes forth to life from that love.
Family is the foundation of our society. As in all things, we are to model ourselves after the Ways of God.
He set forth His model of "family" when He gave Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to us as the example.
Though many people in a fallen world have tried to twist, manipulate, desecrate, and even attack "the family, in its true and Godly-ordained existence", The Holy Family of Nazareth remains as evidence as to the nature of "family" and what God is asking of us in the vocation of marriage on earth.
I love to ponder the sheer GRACE that was always and ever-present in the home of these three humble people in Nazareth. I know the grace that I myself feel when I am focused on and aware of the spiritual presence of Jesus in my daily life. I also know the added grace and peace that comes from receiving Him in His physical presence in the Holy Eucharist.
This is why it is so easy to imagine the peacefulness, joy, and love of the home of the Holy Family. They had, in their midst, the truly Divine and truly Human Person of Jesus Christ. What a blessing!
Our lives, some 2000+ years later, have drastically changed from the days when the Holy Family might have been one of our neighbors. And yet, some things....many things, have not changed and never will change, for ours is a perfect, loving, and unchanging God, Who has provided all means, all Truth, and all opportunity for us to know, love, and serve Him in this life; that we may be supremely happy with Him in the next.
Though there are those who wish to break down the "family"...those who have turned away from "family"...and still those, who wish to reinvent the godly meaning and nature of "family"...we who believe and accept the true teachings of Jesus, know that:
* Marriage is a Sacrament instituted and given to us by Christ
* Marriage is ordained by God as to be between one man and one woman
* Marriage is, by its nature, procreative and is to be open to new life, should God wish to bless it so.
* "Family" is the foundation of all society, of all vocations, and of the Kingdom of Heaven.
* Though God might bring various groups of people together in some very unconventional ways to form a family...this does not mean that the basic nature and fundamental form of "family" (as in...one man, one woman, joined in marriage and bringing forth children) is neither obsolete, nor insignificant...it has always been my personal thought that I love the fact that Saint Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus...this is a wonderful example and model for us...that God sometimes forms families by other means...and yet, the foundation of family ...one man, one woman, joined in marriage....remains intact...even in that holy family of Nazareth.
May families everywhere look to The Holy Family and learn about the beauty and value in simplicity, peace, joy, and love...May all families, especially Catholic families, follow the wonderful examples of these three people so that we can live out our time on earth for His sake and for His glory...keeping Christ at our center, physically and spiritually...as they did.
The Holy Family knew much about trials and suffering...about having trust and faith in God...about stepping out into the unknown and following the promptings of the Spirit...about persecution and poverty, and stressful situations. They were a REAL family...and they suffered many things that we will never come close to understanding in our lives...for instance, not many of us will have to flee from our homes in the night because an army of wicked men are hunting down our child to kill him!!!
Still, even amidst these tremendous and trying times...Mary, Joseph, and Jesus survived...they thrived....they gave thanks...they were joyful...they kept the Faith.
Let us do the same and model ourselves as closely to them as we are able, through the grace that comes from the help they continue to provide for us by their prayers and intercession.
Most Holy Family of Nazareth...pray for us.
Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich
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