It is 30th December 2018. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. On the last Sunday of the calendar year, we are invited to offer, thank, and to ask for God’s blessings and guidance on all our families. The readings are from 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28; the second reading is from 1John 3:1-2, 21-24; and the Gospel from Luke 2:41-52. We have a family to emulate and live up is to here on earth is the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is indeed the day for all of us to thank the Lord for the family we come from, we have created and we live in. With all its weaknesses and failures, families are the only life-line for the happiness and peace and blessings of all kinds to all of us. The humanity has always tried so many other means to make themselves happy yet they have not found one like that of a human family of father, mother and children with their pets that are close to the families. Our families are a blessing in so far as it is consecrated to the Lord, connected to communicate with all the members within and extended, and willing to make sacrifices for its survival and the welfare of the humanity at large. It is not the numbers that make the quality of the family rather it is the cohesion among the members of the family that makes the family holy, pure, productive and functioning. We need to be watchful about those members who ignore, undermine, overlook, dominate, contaminate and corrupt the structures of the God’s design for the humanity that is family. The mother Church teaches us in PASTORAL CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD: GAUDIUM ET SPES, no 47, “Yet the excellence of this institution is not everywhere reflected with equal brilliance, since polygamy, the plague of divorce, so-called free love and other disfigurements have an obscuring effect. In addition, married love is too often profaned by excessive self-love, the worship of pleasure and illicit practices against human generation. Again in No. 49, “Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love.” The first reading teaches us that we must bring our children and lead them to the Lord to thank the Lord as the mother of Samuel. Children are the supreme gifts of the marriage and therefore every parent need to be grateful for having received from the Lord. In the second reading, St. John confesses that God dwells in each one of us and we need to follow the voice of the Lord by living and obeying the commandments. The responsorial Psalm praises: “Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.” (Ps.84:5). The Gospel describes the finding of the child Jesus in the Temple and the mindset of the anxious and worried parents. When the children prefer to be near the Lord, let us not pull them away from the Lord. Every family needs to learn from the family of Jesus that to be closer to the Lord is the paramount activity to be grateful to the Lord and to grow in love and respect for one another. Without faith and obedience to the Lord, no family can celebrate, be blessed and bonded together as a family. The obedience to God must begin with the obedience to the parents that helps children to grow in wisdom and the favour of God and people. “Jesus was obedient to them; Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favour before God and man.” (Lk.2:52). May the Lord bless all our families with all the blessings to live up to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. May you have a good day.