Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
December 27, 2009
The Blessings of Family Life
This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. It is a joyous occasion that reminds us of the beauty and love we experience in a family. The Church gives us the feast to help us remember the value of our own families. Of course, our family gives us love and affection and a feeling of self worth. These are essential things for a happy life. Our families also give us the opportunity to celebrate special events together and they are a source of emotional support when we need it most. We cannot take our families for granted. Happy families make for happy individuals.
Sadly, when we think of the Holy Family we think of three people with halos around their heads and people who just sit or stand around living a very sterile life with no problems or headaches. This idea of the Holy Family gives us the impression that they are very far removed from our own experience, therefore they cannot relate to our situation. This is very far from the truth.
The actual reality is that neither Mary or Joseph went around with halos on their heads during their life times. They were very simple and humble people who struggled to make ends meet. Joseph worked hard to support the needs of his family. Mary was like all other women. She walked to the town well to get water each day. She spent much of her time cleaning, weaving, cooking and watching Jesus. In short they had a great work ethic. Their lives in Nazareth were not easy in any way, shape or form.
The reason they are presented to us as a family to emulate is because they lived their lives in faith. Even if things were difficult they continued to pray. They were faithful to the God they had known since childhood. They did not turn their backs on God simply because they did not have everything they longed for.
One facet of family life that we often overlook in our lives is the call to holiness. Many of us have been conditioned to think that holiness is only for priests and religious. This is totally false however. Married couples are called to holiness and share in the same call that priests and religious do. When a man and woman live their lives in union with God and one another their lives will be holy.
The married vocation is one that is special to God’s heart and we can see this through the Holy Family. How could God discount the vocation of Mary and Joseph? They are the two greatest saints of our church. What we must remember however is that they were not holy at birth. They had to work at it. It was just as much of a struggle for them as it is for us. The whole point of the Holy Family celebration is to remind us that it is not impossible. Maybe we could try to keep this in mind.
Lorette P. Nault