What Makes a Family Holy?
The Christmas season is a time when families try to get together to renew and/or build the relationships of love and friendship through gift-giving, greetings or family visitation. As the Church celebrates this weekend the feast in honor of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as a family, we reflect on what makes a happy home or what it takes to be a holy family.
We reflect on the particular virtues of the Holy Family who also encountered problems and difficulties just like every human family has problems and challenges. We reflect on how Mary and Joseph felt about the tension as they found their son in the temple. There are many other gospel events that indicate the difficulties and challenges encountered by the Holy Family, including their frightful flight to Egypt. At the end of the gospel reading, it mentions about the obedience of Jesus to Mary and Joseph, making us reflect on what it means for us to follow God’s will in the family context.
The integrity of the Holy Family hinges on the willingness of the all the members to follow the will of God in their own respective lives. For them, their relationship with God is the solid basis for the other relationships inside and outside the home. A Christian family or any Christian relationship in society has to be based on the theological virtues of faith, hope and love. It relies on each one’s personal relationship with God who knows and loves us personally. Moral and spiritual strength can make us go through difficult moments in family life. To maintain an empty space for God in our lives provides quality and integrity to the complicated network of human relationships in the family.
In many Church documents, the family is described as the domestic Church or the microcosm Church for a reason. Family ministry requires that we proclaim the Good News within the inner circle of our families. We are also made aware of our authentic mission to evangelize other families in the wider community. Every Christian family is a family for other families.
On this feast of the Holy Family, let us pray that our families would work towards a holiness that would make us witnesses to Christ’s love and presence in the world.