For this Sunday’s Gospel and the other Mass readings, click here.
The images of the Holy Family that I grew up around were of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus huddled together, as if Joseph were holding Mary and Jesus close to him. I think these images speak to how close the Holy Family was. As we can see in today’s Gospel reading, the Holy Family presented Jesus in the Temple out of their obedience to God. They leaned on each other and relied on each other, as a good family should. Life was far from perfect for them, but they stayed together through it all. They did the best with what they had, and their faith was at the forefront of their lives.
I used to wonder how my current family could possibly compare to the Holy Family. Mary had no trace of sin and she always did the will of God perfectly, Joseph wasn’t perfect, but he was pretty close to it because he was so chaste and holy, and Jesus is literally the Son of God. But as I reflect on how I grew up, I see the little ways in which my family resembles the Holy Family. My mom and dad worked so hard to take care of my brother and I. They made significant sacrifices so that he and I could go to Catholic school from Kindergarten to high school so that we could learn about our faith. They always had time for us and showed up for us when we needed them. They protected and nurtured us in so many ways. Most importantly, they raised Jeff and I in the Church and gave us a strong foundation in our faith.
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Jeff and I are certainly not as perfect as Jesus, but we continue to become more like Him. For as long as I can remember, we learned how to pray, about the Church, and the importance of the Sacraments. We were raised with a love of service and community as we were involved in parish life, and we continue to serve the Church with the unique gifts that God gave us.
My family is no where near perfect, but it’s rooted in our faith. I can easily call us holy. The Holy Family has definitely been watching over us and holding us close. I look at the Holy Family and my own family and I’m grateful that, by the grace of God, my family resembles them in our own special ways. As I pray for my family, I continue asking for the Holy Family’s intercession and I pray that one day I can have a family of my own that looks like the Holy Family.
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