Holy Family

At the core of faith is Family. Our families are the people who help make us who we are we are a reflection of our parents, siblings and grandparents as we tend to model our behaviors on what we see growing up. Faith life is among the seeds planted in our youth. Today in the readings we look at the family unit.

We begin in the book of Sirach; it is one of the deutrocanonical books in the Bible. The Wisdom of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus as it is also known is a collection of ethical teachings. We hear in the reading today three simple values that all generations can embrace, respect, reverence and love. The younger generation need to respect/revere/love the older generation, in the reading this is our mothers and fathers, but this can also be applied to our grandparents and all older people as well as the young (at least respect and love). As Pope Francis reminds us we cannot only focus on one group the young/adult/elderly but we must use them all and respect the advice that each group can provide us.

The second reading from Paul letter to the Colossians is that one part that women tend to dislike, “wives, be subordinate to your husbands.” Sure this part might not even be read but I tend to feel that it comes down as a blanket statement, husbands and wives need to be supportive of their spouses and they both need to love and respect one another. Since as we hear in the beginning of the reading God has given us all heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility gentleness, patience and to top it all off love. St. Francis will pick up on this concept that we have to become the Word of God living in the world, famously put as the saying “Preach the Gospel at all times, us words sparingly.”

Turning to the Gospel of Matthew we hear that after the magi had left from their visit, Joseph has another dream. In the dream Joseph is instructed to go to Egypt and stay there until he has another dream saying to come back. So Joseph rose and got Mary and Jesus and they left for Egypt just before Herod had all the infants slaughtered. This was according to Matthew in order to fulfill a prophecy of the Old Testament. Some scholars believe that the Massacre of the Innocents likely never happened and it is just Jesus being given a Moses treatment. So they flew over to Egypt and after Herod had died Joseph had another dream and was told to go back and they settled in Nazareth.

I hope that we all can reflect on our own families and consider them holy. With the holidays winding down and family visitors leaving let us consider that while families can drive us crazy they tend to stick with us forever.