Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family ofJesus, Mary, and Joseph. As we continue to celebrate the joy of Christmas, we commend the families of our parish and school to the Holy Family because, as we have often said, the family is the core of society and of our Church. Yet we know that our families are in crisis, attacked on all sides by secularism and relativism and a redefinition of what family truly is.
I would offer you the figure of St. Joseph as the great intercessor for all our families. On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception a few weeks ago, Pope Francis proclaimed a “Year of St. Joseph.” In the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde that he released that day, the Holy Father gave a beautiful reflection on St. Joseph, and I highly recommend reading this brief letter to enhance your spiritual life. I encourage parents to read it together as they seek to be holier husbands and wives and fathers and mothers.
There is a dismantling of the family, if you will, taking place in our society. The sacredness of the family and how God created it, as modeled by the Holy Family, must be preserved. Using St. Joseph as our guide and great intercessor, we commend our families to his paternal care and intercession especially during these uncertain times. It is natural to fear for our families when our children are constantly being assaulted by secular, and let’s call it like it is, downright evil depictions of family. Pope Francis writes to calm our fears not only for our families, but the fears that we have as a result of this pandemic: “Even through Joseph’s fears, God’s will, his history and his plan were at work. Joseph, then, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses. He also teaches us that amid the tempests of life, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course. At times, we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture (PC 2).”
Jesus. Mary. Joseph. We turn to the Holy Family on this day, and I invite you to take your family after Mass to the Nativity scene in our church or on our lawn and to commend your family to the Holy Family’s care. Family is sacred. Our families are called to be holy. May we follow the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth so that we can be models of family holiness to the entire world.
God bless you all,