Living as the Holy Family

Family life is often messy. So how does that square up with the idea that it is also holy? Is a family only holy to the degree that it can spend time in prayer or in service to others? Or is there something more to it?

Attempting to reinvent the family isn’t a new game. Historians have clay-pot records of all kinds of household arrangements dating back to 4000 B.C. Humans always have thought of a million different ways to do a family. It is true that there are strong social-science arguments to be made for the idea that the traditional family — understood as one man in a lifelong committed relationship to one woman and the children they have together — is the most stable, most satisfying, and most socially beneficial household arrangement. Even so, the notion that this is the ideal family arrangement is ultimately not discovered by humans but revealed to us by God. The Father, himself, instituted the human family in the Garden of Eden when He told Adam and Eve to “go forth and multiply.” Further, he gave us his Son who, by choosing the wedding at Cana for His first miracle, gave marriage and family life sacramental dignity, asserting that this union was a sacred reality capable of conveying sanctifying grace.

The fact is most of our families suffer from failed plans, broken promises and failed relationships. That is why Jesus entered our world as the member of a family, to heal and redeem every family’s brokenness, beginning with the first family in history, Adam and Eve whose second son Cain killed his brother Abel. Sin brings pain and suffering to every family. Theologists say that out of the 33 years of Jesus’ earthly life, He dedicated only three to public ministry. That is a 10 to 1 ratio of time for family over other duties. How much time do we give to our spouse and children, our brothers and sisters?Therefore, Jesus established the Church to be the family of God. In this way, no matter what shortcomings our earthly father or mother may have, we can be reborn in Baptism as beloved sons and daughters of God the Father. Jesus truly becomes our brother, and as He died on the Cross to redeem us, He gave us His own mother to be our Mother, too. We were made for family life in a world badly broken by sin. As members of Christ’s family, the Church, we find the grace to heal and to say with gratitude the Prayer Jesus taught.” Our Father………”A famous writer in one of his blogs on the Holy Family Life writes;What virtues did the “Holy Family” practice that we need today, whatever our family of origin may be? The following three are mentioned by St Paul in his Letter to the Colossians:

  1.  Put on heartfelt compassion and kindness.It may not seem like a battle to others, but in fact each of us has a battle to face. The kindness of others bolsters our ability to engage the battles God allows us to face
  2. Be patient with one another and forgive.Closely aligned with kindness is patience, the virtue so eminently present in Jesus.
  3. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.Jesus puts it this way. “If you make my word your home, you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free.In every family, it should begin with prayer together every evening, even before the youngest child went to bed. The “Our Father, Hail Mary and Act of Contrition” be prayed every night; and these prayers, repeated daily, built a kind of spiritual home in which we live day and night, where we knew God was our Father, Mary, our Mother, and where words like “I’m sorry, please forgive me” had the power to create an atmosphere of compassion.

Children fully understand what matters most to their parents and to one another. They see the sacrifices they make everyday. They see how conversations can contradict the word of God or make it come alive and cut through the falsehoods in the world surrounding the family. That is why carving a solid foundation on the values of family should be started with children at home. There is so much at stake in the way we live family life. As Saint John Paul II said in Saint Louis some years ago: “…the family is the primary and most vital foundation of society, the first school of social virtue and solidarity. As the family goes, so goes the nation!” That is why we pray with the whole Church today.

These are just a few of the myriad reasons the Church thinks that family life, for all its faults and struggles, is holy.  As we conclude this reading let’s not forget that family isn’t just something you have. It’s one of the greatest instruments God uses to draw us back to Him.

My warmest salutation to each one of you and Stay safe.

Source & References: Research from various websites.

Agnelo A S Fernandes
Ward: 12