December 31, 2017 – The Holy Family

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Wow! I love today’s readings!

I remember sitting at Christmas Mass last year – back home in my childhood church. I was looking around and glanced up at the Holy Family statue that had been there for years. It felt so good to be surrounded by my family – my husband, children, grandchildren, in-laws, nieces, nephews, etc. I looked around again and saw so many familiar faces – my close friends that helped me with youth ministry and helped me when I was sick. They were there for me when my children were born and they were there for me when my father passed away – my Church family. This is what it feels like to belong and to be loved – a member of a family.

Families come in all shapes, sizes, and characteristics – but we all belong to a family. Sometimes it can be hard to be a part of a family. Lots of personalities, and personal needs and wants get in the way of harmony.

We are clearly instructed in today’s readings how we can strive for peace and harmony in our families. Sirach reminds us that we are to honor our parents – even when it seems like they don’t understand us – or just want to impress their authority over us. When we honor our parents, we will find joy in our own children. When we honor our fathers, we bring comfort to our mothers.

St. Paul reminds us in the second reading, a letter to the Colossians, that we are brothers and sisters in Chris. We are children of God. We are family. We are to put on “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another.” All of this we are called to do in the name of Jesus and giving thanks to God.

As Simeon recognizes Jesus as our Savior in the Gospel of Luke, let us all seek Jesus. Recognize Him in the faces of our brothers and sisters. Know that we belong to His family. And praise our Father with acts of compassion, humility, kindness, gentleness and patience.

One more thing – when I looked up at that Holy Family statue that I had seen for many years. This year, as I gazed upon their faces, I noticed something I had never realized before. As Joseph and Mary are looking down upon their child, Jesus rests His eyes upon His mother, Mary. He looks to her for comfort and love. So, as you seek Jesus in your life, always remember that you can go to Mama Mary. When you see her, you will see Jesus magnified in her eyes, her heart, and her love.

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” St. Maximilian Kolbe

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