It is 29th December 2019. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The readings are from Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; the second reading is from Colossians 3:12-21; and the Gospel from Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23. Loveless families are Godless families. The presence of parents brings blessings to the roots of the existence of the children. The roles of each one needs to be played with respect for life and one another. Everyone has to feel loved, included and respected. Respecting the elders and parents are not an option for the children. Nurturing families are the fountains of life for the community. Growing up has to happen within the environments of faith, trust and prayer. Learning is not painful anymore where there is acceptance, appreciation and recognition are in abundance. However ideal the holy Family might look for us, we all have something to learn from it. Family that is depending and deepening in God’s love is holy indeed. The fabric of family lies in inculcating and promoting the values of the kingdom of God such as the dignity of human labour and promoting life. Just like Mary and Joseph, every parent needs to ponder the Word of God in order face the words of the world. The Holy Family went through all challenges and pain of the family life. Families are under attack constantly by the forces of evil in our society. Let us protect our families through regular prayers, spiritual and charitable exercises from selfishness, materialism, individualism, indifference, and from the addictions of all kinds especially social media. The first reading teaches us that parents cannot be ignored, and pushed to a corner in the pursuit of one’s happiness and careers. Blessings from God can come to the children and grand-children through parents and grand-parents not through accumulation of material things. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is the model for all the families in the world. The parents are the supreme gifts for the children as the children are to the parents. Every child needs to learn holding the ropes of compassion, respect, and honour towards the parents. An authentic and good relationship with God is unimaginable in the absence of honouring the parents. St. Paul invites us to live a life filled with virtues of love, respecting the boundaries with one another in our families, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another. The responsorial prays, “Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.” (Ps.128:1). The Gospel presents us with the hardships and hurdles the Holy Family had to go through in order to survive the attacks from evil people. The Catechism teaches us in No.2205, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father’s work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.” May our families emulate the ideals of Holy Family in relating with God and one another. May God bless all our families.

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