Homily :: December 31, 2017
12/31/17: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – Feast
12/31/17: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph - Fr Dave Reeson
(7:09, 6:54 MB)
12/31/17: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph - Fr Pat Nields
(7:02, 6.43 MB)
The readings for this day, not surprisingly, talk about family a fair bit. Scripture commentators, including ours, spend a good deal of time on these readings, especially the one from Colossians, trying to be sure that it is understood in its cultural context. But taken as a whole, perhaps it helps to focus instead on the two options for the Psalm response: “Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.” and, “The Lord remembers his covenant forever.”
Whether it is the hard work of living in a family, or the family of a religious community of sisters or brothers, or the family life of a parish, there is at the very base of our lives two things alone that matter.
First, we need to walk in the ways of the Lord and second, God will not forget us. Oh yes, things might go bad from time to time in any of these groups: parishes grow but they also wither; so for religious communities and families, too. But even on our worst days, community proves that God remembers us. In this life it is exactly these groups: our family, our community, these prove that God has not forgotten. They are in a way the sacrament of God’s enduring love.
So when we gather for Eucharist, we need not focus on the details of this reading or that, or on the perceived slights of this group or that sibling. At the same time, it is important, especially in the hard times, to remember that family or community is worth the work. Oh, and if we are far from home, if we are suffering estrangement from an abusive family, we need to find a community to support us in our walk of faith.
By Glenn CJ Byer, MA SLD © 2011, OCP. All rights reserved.