Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Theme: LET’S MAKE FAMILY LIFE GREAT AGAIN
By: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
Homily for Sunday December 29 2019
SUNDAY (5TH DAY) IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS YEAR A.
READINGS: SIRACH 3:2-6.12-14, PSALM 128, COLOSSIANS 3:12-21, MATTHEW 2:13-15.19-23
√•Save the family
√•Promote healthy family ties
√•Make policies that support the family
√•Let love reign in all families. Amen.
While in Primary school, we were taught that the family is the first structure in a man’s life and the first level of civilization. Supporting this St. John Paul II posited, ‘The family is the vital cell of the society’; and building on this claim, the Synod of Bishops, III Extraordinary General Assembly on pastoral challenges of the family opinionated: “The family is the primordial human society”. Something is said to be primordial only to the extent that it is foundational, basic, primary or substantial. The family thus is an invaluable asset, the natural setting from where life grows and develops. It is a school of humanity, of love and of hope for the society and that is why Pope Francis said “it is irreplaceable and indelible.” It is the privileged place where Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of a person.
The readings today capture nicely how family life should be. Sirach 3:2-6.12-14 suggests that children honour their parents for it pays to do so: God answers his/her prayers, long life is sure and reparation for sin is guaranteed. Saint Paul’s letter to the Colossians 3:12-21 puts forth the very needful attributes every family should possess. These include: compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, patience, forgiveness, peace, forbearance, love and prayer. The gospel text, Matthew 2:13-15.19-23 shows Joseph hearkening to God’s command as inconveniencing as it was. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph stood for all the aforementioned qualities of a good home.
Jesus, though God, lived humbly with his parents and in obedience, carried out all he was told to do; he even learnt the carpenter’s trade. Children of this day are called to be obedient, humble and helpful to their parents regardless of their achievements and qualifications. Mary, the ever caring mother lived quietly, nurturing her child to maturity and not standing in his way pursuant to his dreams, journeyed with him until death called. She never disrespected Joseph but lived peacefully with him. Mothers are called to live like Mary, caring, quiet, not quarrelsome and highly respectful to their children and husbands. Joseph accepted his place in this family thereby cooperated with the divine plan to further our salvation. All fathers should be like Joseph, they ought to put away their pride and ego so as to support their wives and children when and where necessary.
This was a family bonded together in and by love. According to Pope Pius XII, ‘The life of a family united in intimate love is so beautiful! Each member is seen eager to fulfill his duties promptly, eager to please the others. Each tries to be just, honest, kind, patient and all strive to bear all adversities and forgive the wrongs of others etc. Parents are seen educating their children lovingly in the practice of all virtues. In this family, God is honoured and served faithfully and everyone is treated with goodness…’
We pray through Jesus, Mary and Joseph for all our ruined families; those experiencing disunity and dissension in their homes, that love and peace may be restored. We pray for the spirit of submission on the part of wives to their husbands, love on the side of men to their wives and respect on the part of children to their parents (Cf. Eph. 5:21). May God restore sanity to family life given that good families make good nations. May we on our part, strive consciously to make family life great again.
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE…