Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Lk 2,41-52


The first Sunday after the feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus is dedicated to the Holy Family. This feast does not have a long history. Pope Benedict XV, in 1921, as if at the beginning of new times, which would be more marked by the crisis of the family, providentially appointed this feast. Today’s family needs not only a model but also help and protection. The Holy Family has not had it easy, either.


The Evangelist St. Luke wrote of an incident “when he was twelve years old… the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, which his parents did not perceive… After three days they found him in the temple.” (Luke 2:42, 43, 46).

The pilgrimage of the twelve-year-old Jesus to Jerusalem marks a turning point in his life and the life of his parents. Jesus loved his parents, but now he “had to” – at least for three days – stay in his Father’s house. He met with the teachers of the nation. The incident ends with the remark that when Mary and Joseph found him, “they returned to Nazareth, and he was obedient to them. And his mother kept all the words in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom, in age, and in favor with God and man” (Lk. 2:51-52).

Family, family house, names of relatives… How many beautiful words make one feel warmth, love, peace. Family is a great good for a person. We came out of the family, and it is lovely when we have a place to return to. When a family is sick, we need to sound the alarm when something terrible appears in it. A crisis in the family is one of the most painful crises. Let us fear nothing so much as the breaking up of the family. The family must be defended on the principles of Christian morality. Not only to pray for families but to develop in families everything related to the mission of the father, mother, or child. The Holy Family, even today, is a model, a strength, and a hope for today’s families. Looking at the image of the Holy Family makes it possible to see, as if in a mirror, the rights and duties, roles and responsibilities of all the members of our families. The formation of the conscience of each member of the family is a duty and a commitment. The Christian family lives in God and invokes the name of God. Such a family is a home that is simply a school of faith and Christian values. It is to produce all that is necessary for natural and supernatural life. The faith pattern of the parents is the best school for the children on the way to God. Although the example and model of the mother are great for the children, the father must not forget that his example is irreplaceable by nothing and by no one. The young do what they see in their parents. When we ask them why they have faith, the answer is: we have received faith from our parents. Conversely, it is difficult for young people to find the way to God when their parents have not taught them this way.
The Holy Family helps to find the way to values both natural and supernatural. It supports all to orient themselves on life’s paths in a way that will benefit eternity. If children fall away from God, they cause pain to their parents. Today, it is no longer rare for a child from a good Christian family to choose a different path than the one they were led on at home. Even from Christian families, children are exposed to the plagues of our time, such as drugs, computer games, cults, and the difficulties of mixed marriages. They enter into marriages outside the church. God respects the reason and will of every person. God can do anything, but not against the cause and will of man. Despite prayers, tears, and other sacrifices, parents witness that their child is deaf, dumb to what they have raised him to do. Often this goes on for a long time. Parents mustn’t lose hope for a long time. The knees often prevail in this struggle. Let them remember that God will not forsake. Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus for three days, and yet Jesus was the Son of God. Mary and Joseph did not understand why Jesus was doing this. Nevertheless, they faithfully carried out their parents’ mission. Let this be an encouragement to those parents whose children have found a different way or philosophy of life.

In the same way, our families suffer from the separation of spouses. Infidelity and illicit marital life are promoted mainly by the mass media and presented as benign where there is a weaker spiritual life, the divorce rate increases. In the beginnings of life together, in the first crises, and when the spouses are in their twilight years.

In the same way, parents are pressed by material and housing difficulties, and contraception is related to this. Today’s world does not want to call abortion a sin. Even many Christian spouses do not regard illicit marital life as a sin.
Today, more than at any time in the past, it is true that it is not enough to lay the family’s foundation but to build it more and more carefully. The Gospel tells of two men who were making their houses. Only the one who was “wise” was the one who built on the rock. What he was careful about was the foundation. Who was in no hurry to finish the house quickly? He counted on the difficulties that might arise. And marriages today? We need to get married, instead of: we are already mature. Rather, parents, tell yourself that you will help your daughter raise her grandchild, but not advise her were to have him married. But also, young women and young men, remember that the word is quick to be said but hard to be carried out. The “I do” once said before God is valid “until your death and mine, and in no adversity” ceases when all the conditions for a reasonable and lawful celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony are fulfilled at the outset.

The feast of the Holy Family is a souvenir for each of us. For you, spouses, to reflect on the way of cohabitation. On today’s Solemnity, not only to pray for one another or to renew your marriage vows in silence after Holy Communion but also to do more, what your heart whispers, what your mind points to, what your love leads you to do.
To you who are preparing for marriage and getting to know the beautiful feeling of love, today’s feast day wants to appeal to you to reconsider your criteria, what you prioritize in your life. Would it not be possible to include prayer in our everyday conversations? Discuss the Christian view of sacramental marriage? Spend more time on the essentials of the Christian life? Study the criteria for how Christ teaches about marriage?

The feast also speaks to you, the elders in the marriage, and those whose spouse has already died. God loves you too. Your example is also a great gift to others. Do not forget what you have experienced together with Christ in marriage. Let us pray!
Children, when you look at your father, your mother, when you take anything in your hands, when they ask something of you, demand something of you, do not forget to pray for those who have given you life…

If we are to pay attention to the family, let us pay attention to it as a work that comes from God. God has elevated marriage to a sacrament. The sacrament of marriage is a gift. And today is the time and the place to adjust our relationship to such a precious gift. Let us pray to the Holy Family: to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, for ourselves, for our families, for the Church, and the whole world, that we may fulfill what God has placed in marriage and the family.


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