Sunday, December 30, 2018

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.

The war of the Evil One against the Lord is his war against the family, and the war of the Evil One against the family is the core of his war against the Lord. Because the family is the image of God, from the beginning of the creation of this universe, The Evil one is focusing on destroying the family, the foundation of God’s plan.”– St. Charbel: (1828 –1898) was a Maronite monk and priest from Lebanon) 

Gospel Text: (LK 2:41-52)
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast
of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor
before God and man.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, remembering how Jesus grew up in the normal busy-ness of family life, how he was shaped as a person by both Mary and Joseph.

Our faith lives and our family lives converge in the most ordinary places.  Sacred times happen around the kitchen table, putting our children to bed for the night, or perhaps if they are grown, in phone calls to catch up with each other’s lives.  Jesus is present and joyful in the family traditions and rituals we have developed, in our prayers together before dinner, and even in special new customs we may have created for our adult children and their families during the holidays.

The laundry room, the kitchen table, a casual stroll together around the neighborhood are all places to recognize God present and active and drawing us ever closer to God’s own heart.

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