Sunday, December 26, 2010

And Be Thankful

Feast of the Holy Family
December 26, 2010
Holy Family A 2010
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as
long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him;
revile him not in the fullness of your strength. For kindness to a
father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering--it will
take lasting root. Sirach 3:12-14
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with
one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against
another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over
all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the
peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were
also called in one body. And be thankful. Colassians 3:12-15
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed
for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the
Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I
called my son." Matthew 2:14-15
I imagine the spiritual journey as the type of dive one does from a
diving board on a tower. We climb Jacob’s ladder looking for our Lord.
What we discover after our climb is an ocean of God’s love below us.
There are many types of dive. Spiritually is the dive we prefer. The
cannon ball makes a big splash and soaks a lot of others with one’s
Spirituality. It is not appreciated by most people. A clean dive goes
deep without creating much of a ripple. Spirituality takes us into an
ever deepening relationship with Christ. When we are searching out a
spirituality, we tend to imitate what we see has gone before us. The
perfect model of family spirituality is the Holy Family. They are the
counterpoint to Trinity. The Trinity touches us in the Holy Family.
The Holy Family models for us what family spirituality is all about.
When we dive into the ocean of God’s love for us, the first ripple
from our dive is our own salvation. What does it profit one to gain
the whole world and suffer the loss of one’s soul? Family relationship
is the be all and the end all of God’s love for us in Jesus and Mary.
Salvation belongs to what the Holy Family has given us in Christ. Love
and obedience ring out in the finding of Jesus in the Temple. Family
needs to be the Temple of God’s love for us. Family finds its own
Jesus in the temple. Our family blessings come from walking together
in the way of the Lord. Heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one
another in family, all birth more of the same for those outside of the
family. Family teaches us how to put on love. Family makes it
possible for us to do everything in the name of the Lord.
The challenge of good family is to do everything in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Christ. In the
craziness of our world today there is an incredible need to do the
best we can to protect family. Joseph protects Mary and Jesus by
leading them into exile in Egypt. Loving parents suffer anything and
everything for the sake of their children. Joseph led them back when
he knew again from an angel that they would be safe. Families can be
united in peace and love by the very dangers that threaten families.
The intimacy that arises when dangers that threaten family life are
faced together gives the motivation for the family to stick together.
The family that prays together does so when they are united against
the tidal waves of hatred that rage abroad in our world. Almost half
of the families that surround us are one parent families. Togetherness
shared unites families more than words.

Love is the bond of perfection. Christ is the Word made flesh of God’s
love for the human race. Our best actions are the fleshing out of the
words of Christ by action in our lives. If we are willing to be
homebodies in our world today, we will be somebody special in a world
that is racked by divorce and broken promises. Christ promises to
protect the homes where his love is honored. Each day it is important
to say to those we love our love. Families are holy because of the
love they share. Christ loved us as the Father loved him. Christ
challenges us to live in his love. Love shared makes a Holy Family.