Holy Family

Holy Family – Yr abc

-Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, a feast instituted by the Church to support family life. The importance of this feast is such when we contrast it with the breakdown of marriage or family life today.

-The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, fraternity, and security within society.

-The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values and begin to honor God. Family life, therefore, is an initiation into life in society. On the other hand, the importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family.

-Thus, civil authority should consider it a grave duty “to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity. Our own family may not be as holy or shining as the Holy Family, and yet we are encouraged to strive in our own little ways to uphold Christian family values.

-St. Paul in today’s 2nd reading gives a very sound advice that serves as a glue that bond family life together: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

-“Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents for this pleases the Lord. Remember that through your parents you were born; and what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you? Parents, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Being patient does not mean letting our­selves be constantly mistreated, tolerating phys­ical aggression or allowing other people to use us. We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and ex­pect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angri­ly. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds.

-Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them as the Scripture says: “He who disciplines his child will profit by him.”

-Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life

-Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. Though family ties are important, yet it is not absolute, for just as the child grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his or her unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose the profession and state of life. And parents should respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. As Christians, we may not love even our own family more than God and his unfathomable will, and at times very painful sacrifices are required of us if we are to live this truth.

-We must be convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Our Lord Jesus. This means accepting the invitation to belong to God’s family, to live inconformity with His way of life, as Our Lord says: “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

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