When God chose to present Himself to us as a Child, He re-sanctified the human family. Jesus was born in a secure, loving and committed family which had its beginning in marriage. Pope Benedict wrote: The family is “born of the love of a man and a woman who decide to enter a stable union in order to build together a new family” (BXVI, Letter for New Year 2008).
The spousal relationship between Joseph and his wife helps us understand our responsibility to work for stability, provide nourishment & a well-rounded education for each member of the family, including children.
There are those today who want us to abandon Christ’s teaching on the sanctity and structure of the human family. They would like to take God out of the equation of marriage, deconstructing this holy sacrament making man the center and controller of life and objects of our desire to feel good.
This thought, like most trends today, has become politicized and we can feel peer pressure to agree with them. But, my friends, Christ teaches the Truth, even if it seems unpleasant; even if it means enduring physical, emotional or social martyrdom.
The truth is that the human family is an icon of the Sacred Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and as such reflects the love of the Trinity who is the true core of every family.
Nazareth is the place where we find solidarity with all human families, rich or poor, single- home or homeless, educated or not. All human families are one because of what the Holy Family teaches us- unity, love, respect, compassion, formation, discipline and grace.
We honor Joseph, Mary and Jesus. We pay tribute to the Holy Trinity who elevated the family as the first temple of the Holy Spirit and the first school of holiness.
My brothers and sisters, we are keenly aware that family life is not an easy life, but we are God’s chosen ones: holy and beloved. If we immerse ourselves within the Family of God we can learn how to live the virtues of the family: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. If we live these virtues it will be possible for us to bear with one another and most importantly, to forgive one another.
Bring your family close together today; embrace them, as God wants to embrace you. Together reflect on the life of the Joseph, Mary and Jesus. They have much to teach us and we have much to learn.