Family is the workshop of love, openness, and acceptance of the other as they are with their qualities, traits, personalities, weakness, and strength

Dear Families of God may the Lord bless with grace, peace, and health in the Holy Spirit. We

Dear Families of God may the Lord bless with grace, peace, and health in the Holy Spirit.

We reflect on 1 Samuel 1:20-22; 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24 and Luke 2:41-56

We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.  Take this moment to wish all the families of God to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to fill your families with love, trust, and happiness.

Christmas is the time of reunion for many families in most parts of the world.  Families are foundational, basic, and minimum plan of God to secure and safeguard happiness for all of us.

“It takes a heap of living to make a house a home.” Many families have been struck by tragedies this year as we are still reeling in the dust of the pandemic – some over which they had no control – like the death of a loved one, the pain and anguish of illness, or the loss of a job.  Others have experienced tragedies such as separation or divorce, alienation of children, or the almost unbearable pain of infidelity, which were the direct result of someone in the family not doing whatever was necessary to make the family work.

As we are still reminiscing the flavour and fragrance of Christmas, we celebrate the feast day of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  The family of Nazareth is the model for all our families on earth for its complete reliance on God.  We gaze our eyes from the grotto of Bethlehem to the family of Jesus.  Little details are shared by the evangelists, yet we contemplate the profound humanness that was shared by them.  God himself wanted to have a father and mother and be born into a family.

St. John Paul II taught us: “For every believer, and especially for Christian families, the humble dwelling place in Nazareth is an authentic school of the Gospel.” While Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI echoes, “The human family is an icon of the Trinity because of its interpersonal love and the fruitfulness of this love.” His Holiness Pope Francis shared insight in his book, “The Infinite Tenderness of God,” that “the Incarnation of the Son of God opens a new beginning in the universal history of man and woman in Nazareth and was born in a family.  God chose a family to come into the world from a less known and popular Nazareth.  Each Christian family can as Mary and Joseph did welcome Jesus, listen to Him, speak with Him, guard Him, protect Him, grow with Him and in this way improve the world.”

Before entering public life, Jesus spent being in the family and growing up in the milieu of a family is not a waste of time. All that Jesus could achieve in public life comes from the fabrics of His family. Every family is invited to be the light and leaven for itself and to the others around.  Hope, happiness, healing is always the wellspring of a fruitful family.  Love and prayer are the connectors between God and one another in the family.  As we collaborate with the members of the family, we need to cooperate with the plan of God for all the families.

Every Christian family is called to be a small “domestic church” in the light of the Gospel shining the rays of fidelity, mutual understanding with respect, prayer with patience,

Everyone has a space and say in a loving family like that of Holy Family.  In the environment of gratuitous love, fidelity, mutual respect and the protecting life, every child grows up with the riches experiences to cherish and nourish.

Constantly nourishing the Incarnate Word in our families, we are not only aware of the bruised flesh in others but have the courage to bandage them.

The family of Nazareth is not flawless.  It is not a superficial, or unrealistic family.  The misunderstanding and silence between Joseph and Mary when She conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit; the unexplainable fear of Mary when Joseph thought of leaving Mary just after the betrothal.  the inability of Joseph to provide a decent place for Mary to give birth; the insecurity and threat to the Baby Jesus and fleeing to Egypt; negligence of losing the little boy of 12 years in the temple and feeling awful for three days; the death of Joseph and Mary had to provide

But the family of Jesus allow us to rediscover the call and the mystery of Jesus, the Son of God in our families.  We must not idealize to the extent that we just remain admiring them rather than emulating them.  When we begin to accept the failures, flaws, fights as experiences we truly forgive the other person.

Every single parent or father is also a family with their children.  Family is the workshop of love, openness, and acceptance of the other as they are with their qualities, traits, personalities, weakness, and strength.

Demanding undue rights without being responsible gradually kills the family.  One unknown author remarked: “It is nice to be important, but it more important to be nice.” It is not about who has the control, authority, and power rather family is all about submission, surrender and

Dietrich Bonhoeffer encourages, “It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Being grateful to one another brings the rich aroma of love and thoughtfulness.  Alfred Painter said once, “Saying thank you is more than good manners.  It is good spirituality.”

Let us make room for Jesus in our family.  To be a holy family just does not happen.  Every family needs to work at it together.  A family without a prayer corner is always cornered by strangers and strange happening.

It is time to watch out for the usage of cell phones encroaching the intimate cells of our homes.  A daily deepening of love, commitment, communion, and communication is the irreplaceable moment of strengthening our families.  Nurturing our families with appreciation, thankfulness, and manners of making others feel at home retains the roots of families.  Depriving conjugal love, overspending on material and unwanted things, undue attention to friends over family is so detrimental to the welfare of the family.  Spending quality time with each other builds and protects the bonds with each other.

Emotional blackmailing and abuses deprive the admiration for one another and forcing to seek a companion or a friend outside the family to take care of the needs of the individuals.  Yelling, shouting, and looking down on the members of the family kills the warmth and security of the family gradually.

Let us create a room for the poor and the needy in our families.

Our families can survive and withstand all trials, temptation, failures when we let in the Son of God in our families.

In the first reading, we are invited to honour the promises we made as a family to God.  The gospel presents us with a tense moment in the life of the Holy Family.  When asked Jesus, “My child, why have you done this to us?  See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.” The answer of Jesus was not that comforting.  How do we deal with our children when they prefer to be far from our presence?

There is a growing tension between being born in a family and belonging to; living in the family and leaving the family; obeying and respecting; faith and fun; poverty and popularity; connecting and communicating; appreciation and apprehension; relating and relations; pampering and parenting; praying and playing; work and intimacy; friendship and family and so on and on.

Amidst all these tensions, our families withstand all tests and trying times only by genuine love, trust, and prayer.  May we keep our families humane to become holy.  May God bless all our families.

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