Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family Year C (4)

Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family Year C

Theme: Lost!
St Joseph’s Church, Nazareth

By: Deacon Bill Frere


Homily for Sunday December 26 2021

Gospel – Luke 2:41-52

Pardon for a moment my warped sense of humor – today’s Gospel recounts the story of Jesus being “lost” in the Temple. And I keep getting this image of Mary and Joseph praying to God: “You know that Son of yours? The Savior of the world? The Son of God? Um, we lost Him.” Okay, moving on!

Those of us who are parents have probably had a moment when we turned around in the grocery store for just a second and we lost sight of our little one. The panic, the fear, that empty feeling in the pit of our stomach! Where did he go? Now imagine Mary and Joseph going through that for 4 days! And imagine their joy and relief at finding Him.

In the end, this was not merely a journey to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. It was not just a journey to find Jesus. And it was not just a journey back home to Nazareth. It was a journey of faith. For Mary and Joseph, this was the first glimpse of Jesus’ true nature, of His divinity. This was their first realization that He was more than just a carpenter’s son. This was a journey of faith! It is a journey that we all take. It is a journey filled with laughter and sorrow, loss and love.

That journey of faith will have moments of joy and moments of great sadness and pain. It is personal and life-long. It involves loss and sorrow, doubt and re-awakening. It is a journey that brings great rewards and tremendous sacrifice. At times, we will feel lost and abandoned. But in the end, that journey leads us all home!

The Gospel ends with a curious line. “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him”. And that’s it! Except for one other story of Jesus being lost in the Temple, we know nothing else about His early life, nothing! Nothing until He is about 30 years old. Those ‘hidden years’ are summed up in that one sentence. It seems unsatisfying; we want to know more.

But maybe that really is all we need to know! He grew, become strong, filled with wisdom. Under the guidance of His parents, he grew, became strong and wise! And through it all, the favor of God was upon Him! And that is what we celebrate today – the importance of the Holy Family! Jesus being raised in a loving, faith-filled family with Mary and Joseph who placed God at the center of their lives!

For all us struggling in the darkness of winter, of sickness and separation, of despair and loss, of dealing with another surge in Covid cases, let us all take comfort and hope this day remembering that the Son of God became a member of our human family and sanctified not only His family but our own. May the Lord grace us, just like Jesus, Mary and Joseph, with that same hope and faith to make Him the center of our own family’s life!

Deacon Bill Frere

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