The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is not exempted from difficulties, trials and suffering. Mary was pregnant out of wedlock. Jesus was born in the manger because there was no room in the inn. Joseph led his family to flee to Egypt because of the murderous plan of King Herod to kill the baby Jesus. Mary saw her Son crucified on the Cross. The Holy Family is a God centered and law-abiding family. The Church gives us the Holy Family as a model because it is in our family that we learn to love, care and serve. Our family is the source of holiness. In fact, we belong to the big family of the Father. Like the Holy Family our families are also called to holiness. To be holy is to be formed according to the heart and mind of God not for itself but for the sake of the world, for the common good. That is why the Church calls the family as the domestic church where we first learn our faith. Our parents are the first teachers of faith. Jesus creates a new family where the focus is to do the will of the Father. God’s will is our well being, our salvation. Salvation is wholeness, completeness, integrity and undivided. Jesus is presented in the temple of  Jerusalem because He is the glory of God and Israel. He is the source of life and liberation. He is also the stumbling block for those who reject His way of love and truth. The prophet Simeon said that Jesus is the sign which points in the direction of God but will be opposed and rejected. He said to Mary that a sword will pierce her heart. She will share in the sufferings of Jesus. The Holy Family is the greatest gift of God to us. We need to imitate the tremendous response of Joseph, Mary, Simeon and Ana in believing that nothing is impossible for God. Joseph believes and obeys what is told to him. He became the protector of the Holy Family. He is also the patron of the Universal Church. He protects the Mystical Body of Christ. He is the terror of demons.  our families today are under threat because of broken families, single parent families and rampant rate of divorce. Jesus brings healing to our fallen world. We are called to be faithful to God’s commands. We are called to holiness by allowing ourselves to be formed according to the mind and heart of God. Family is the basic unit of society and it must be centered in God so that it becomes the source of love, care and service in our society. We ask the intercession of the Holy Family so that this New year will bring us peace, joy and love.
Happy New Year!