Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Holy Family~ A Model For All Families


My parish priest made a good point in his very powerful homily today. He said that Scripture does not tell us about family, or give us some kind of treatise on how a family should work, rather God gave us an example or a model of what family should be in Jesus, Mary and Joseph~the Holy Family.
Yes indeed, this was truly the holiest of families, but they were also living in a struggling, sinful world. From the moment of Jesus' conception, there were obstacles this family would face: Mary's "apparent" infidelity which could have very surely resulted in both her's and the Child's death had Joseph not been the kind, humble, God~fearing man that he was. Then this young couple had to flee to Egypt with a newborn in order to save His life.
Then we come to the event that is the subject of today's Gospel~the finding of the 12 year old Jesus in the Temple among the doctors and teachers of the time. In the eyes of this young Mother and father, a child missing for 3 days! When they finally find Him, they ask why He has done this. He seemed surprised that they would be looking for Him. Jesus' reply seemed logical enough for Him, but was one His Mother and probably Joseph would need to ponder awhile in order to understand.
I like the Douay~Rheims translation of Jesus's reply: 
"And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business?  And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them." 
(Luke 2:49-50) 
About His Father's business, doing His Father's will.
I think that this is where the message lies for families today. Our world today is a sinful, struggling place. It is the job of Christian families to imitate the Holy family, beginning with the parents who are to pass on and teach the faith to their children so that when the time comes, they like Jesus, can be about their Heavenly Father's business.
Once again I find myself in a very precarious position in writing this because I am not a parent. However as an educator for the last 24 years I have been witness to some parents who do not know how or refuse to see that their children are a gift from God, that they are God's children before they are theirs. The results are that the children are dictated to: You will go to that college, receive this or that degree, and become what I want you to become. They never see or help their children to see what God's will for them is.
While Mary and Joseph may not have readily understood their Son's reply, they did understand one important thing, that God is in control and has a plan for each of His children.
As I listened to Father's homily and thought more about this Gospel reading, I realized what my prayer intention for this coming year is to be; it will be to pray for all families. I pray especially for parents that they will do as Hannah did with Samuel, and consecrate their children to God so that these children will be able to discern God's plan for them, and then be about His business.
May God bless all families and heal those where division and estrangement exist.

4 comments:

Anne said...

Karinann, this is so beautiful! My niece and I were just talking recently about how each year is dedicated to something special. We thought it might be very fitting that when "The Year of the Priest" is over, that the next year might be dedicated to families.

Helping children to discern God's call for their lives is a difficult thing to do. I will join you in prayer that parents (myself included) will have the strength to dedicate their children to the will of God.

Karinann said...

Thanks Anne. My prayer intention for this past year was for our youth. As I did last year I will post the prayer intention on my sidebar so that all can join in the prayer.
May God continue to help you and all parents allow God to work in your children's lives.

Michael said...

Beautiful reflection. I will join you in prayer.

Karinann said...

Thanks Michael.
God Bless!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.