Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
Merry Christmas!!! I believe you all had a great celebration of Christmas. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Today I would like to ask you in a special way to pray for our families to have the grace to keep the sacredness of the sacrament of marriage. The Holy Church asks us to meditate on the Holy Family of Nazareth in a special way this week. I think we all appreciate family photos. Many families have photographs of special occasions. Let’s open the photo album of the Holy Family. The first photo we see is the journey to Bethlehem. Many a time we try our best to get out of our social obligations and try to find an excuse to get out of them. But here the Holy family teaches us how to be law abiding citizens even when they can be excused from it. Here’s a photo of Jesus placed in a manger after being born in a stable. In addition to showing God’s love and the Holy Family’s poverty, this photo indicates that the Holy Family was rejected, as Mary and Joseph were forced to have their baby in a stable. Families today are also rejected by our culture of death. Moreover, family members even reject one another. When we see Jesus in the manger, let’s think not only of rejection, but also let us accept the grace to forgive those who have sinned against us and rejected us. Here is an interesting photo that they are in the temple presenting their baby to God. Anna and Simon both speak great things about Jesus. Even in the middle of the great joy, Simon predicts that a sword will pierce the heart of Mary. The Holy Family teaches us how to respond to unexpected sad news. Mary kept everything in her heart. On the next page of the photo album, we see a photo of the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt. Like the Holy Family, families are an endangered species. They are being hunted. Many families don’t survive. Only by hearing the Lord and by obeying Him exactly will families be saved and new Herod’s defeated. Next we see a photo of the “finding” of Jesus in the Temple. Families and family members lose Jesus or, more accurately, are lost themselves. They live separated from their Savior, Love, and Hope. When families seek the Lord, especially through spouses and families praying together, they will find Jesus. Holy families forgive rejection, obey humbly, and pray together. On this Feast of the Holy Family I remind you what Pope Francis said on the World Family Meeting in Philadelphia. The Pope said the most beautiful thing God created is the family. And it is to a family Jesus Christ, his son, was born. But he said, “Families have difficulties. Families quarrel. And sometimes plates can fly. Children bring headaches. In families there are always difficulties, but those difficulties are overcome by love,” he said. “Hatred is not capable of dealing with any difficulty…Only love is able to overcome them.”
He reminded us of a truth that we all know and have to keep in mind all the time. “There is no perfect family”. We have no perfect parents, we are not perfect, we do not get married to a perfect person, neither do we have perfect children. We have complaints about each other. We are disappointed by one another. Therefore, there is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of prayer and forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes a theater of conflict and a house of grievances. Without forgiveness the family becomes sick. Anyone who does not forgive has no peace of soul and no communion with God. That is why the family must be a place of life and not of death; an enclave of cure, not of disease; a stage of forgiveness and not of guilt. I remind you all my dear parents, grandparents, and children, please remember to pray every day together as family, and you should have a family meal together. For it is true that the family that eats together and prays to together, stays together.
Let us pray: “Lord Jesus, you came to restore us to peace and friendship with the Father in Heaven. Look after our families. Where there is division, bring healing and restoration. Where there is strife bring peace and forgiveness. May all our families find peace, harmony, and unity in you, the Prince of Peace and Savior of the world.” Amen.
God Bless You,