I think that this is one of the best feast of the year since it celebrates the Holy Family and is a reminder of a family unit that we should all look to emulate. I think that it is special since for a change of pace we celebrate the family when all too often at churches pray for an increase of vocation to the ministry of the church (priests, nuns, etc.) and neglect the role of the family in the life of the Church. It is also pretty nice that we celebrate this feast at the time of year when families gather together and are around one another.
These readings (the first and second) may not be the readings you hear on Sunday as the readings used in Year A can be substituted. We begin in the book of Genesis with the family of one of the great Patriarchs, Abraham, as we remember in the song he had many sons. In this reading we hear the Lord’s promise of Abram, that he will have his own offspring and the Lord says that Abram’s descendants will be as numerous as the stars. This might not have the same meaning for us today with all the light pollution but the night sky is full of stars that can be seen. Abraham trusts in the Lord to make this happen, then the reading skips forward in time and Sarah becomes pregnant and bears Abraham a son and they name him Isaac. This family unit and all families should be symbols of the Lord’s love in the world.
As we move into the second reading we hear from the letter to the Hebrews and Abraham continues to play a big role in the reading. The writer here just goes on and on about Abraham’s faith and how he put all his faith in the Lord and look what happened. Abraham and Sarah have a son and even when the Lord asks the impossible “sacrifice Isaac” Abraham goes and does it for he knows that the Lord keeps his promise and his descendents will be a numerous as the stars.
Turning to the Gospel we hear from Luke and the account of the presentation in the Temple, more of this on Tuesday. Joseph and Mary did all the thing that a typically Jewish family would do they went to the temple to offer a sacrifice for the birth of the first born male. Families are called to be like the Holy Family and take some time to reflect upon each other and how much they mean to you.