~~~Latest Homily~~~

The Holy Family (Sunday after Christmas)

The Feast Day of the Holy Family has us pause for a moment to recognize God choosing one family out of all of history to be a great example for humanity. We would be wrong if we thought that this Feast is simply about Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This Feast is about us as well.
When I was reflecting on the Holy Family this week, my mind continually was drawn into the word "Holy." Holy is often defined as something or someone that is "set apart by God." When we think of holy objects, they are objects that have been blessed through some type of ritual prayer and/or the sprinkling of holy water. Holy objects call to mind God's presence in our world. All of this is certainly the case for the Holy Family. The Holy Family is the family we all can point to as an example and model. It wasn't that they didn't go through struggles. You simply have to read through the Gospels to see through the struggles they went through. They were/are Holy because of the decisions they made and the impact they made upon the lives of others. Decisions were always made in faith. They taught to have reliance on God as individuals and as a family. They taught us that the vocation of being a family member means bringing out the best in each other. It means helping each other get to heaven. In building each other up, they help to build up the world.

I often think that many of our families look like those we may see in the media. The difference between these families and the Holy Family is easy to see. The goal of many media families is found in wealth, power, prestige, or fame. Because their lives seem so messed up, we can clearly see that this is not the blueprint for happiness. The Holy Family teaches us that we do not need the things we often think we want in order to be a happy family. Often times we find the most joy in being servants to each other.
So what does it mean to be a blessing for our families; for the world? It means to follow the example of the Holy Family. What did they do? They sacrificed for each other. They were guided by faith. They shared their faith. They did what they thought was right through prayer. They gained strength through God and taught others how to have a relationship with God. We can be blessings to others by following these and other examples that were left by the Holy Family.

//