for Sunday, December 30, 2012
Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house? Jesus is a
precocious child and one who causes astonishment. Even when he is older,
his neighbors and friends do not understand Him. It is easy to reject
someone when we know them.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph
are a family like no other family. Yet the basic elements are there:
mother, father and child—all united in love and commitment. We celebrate
this Holy Family because we can learn so much about family from this most
unusual family. We can learn about God working in families by meditating
on this Holy Family.
The first reading, from the First Book of Samuel, is the story of another
child who came as a promise and who was then offered to God. It is not
easy for mothers or fathers to hand their children over into the unknown
and to trust that God will do great things with their children. Both
Hannah and Mary recognize that God is at work in the child given to them.
They are in awe of the mystery and let go of their possession of their own
child. Samuel takes on a great role in the chosen people and is revered.
Jesus causes astonishment and becomes a stumbling block to many people.
The First Letter of John shows us the role of Jesus in our lives: we are
His friends and invited to live as friends. We are children of the Father
and invited to live as children of God. We are empowered in the Holy
Spirit and invited to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Believe in
Jesus and love one another. The commandment of love is so simple and so
The Gospel of Luke tells us about Jesus in the temple at an early age.
More importantly it tells us that Jesus knew what He was supposed to do,
even as a child, and did it. This is Jesus: faithful to the Father's
will, faithful to the Spirit given to Him.
For you and me, there is an invitation to live as the Holy Family lived,
especially in seeking God's will and striving to do it. It is not easy to
follow such a simple path. It will always cost us to follow God's will.
There is nothing more important in this life than knowing and doing God's
will. Let us ask the Holy Family to help us today to live in faithfulness
to the will of God. Let us ask Hannah and Mary to show us how to give up
that which we love the most for the sake of the love of God.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Sirach 3.2-6, 12-14
Second Reading: Colossians 3.12-21
Gospel: Luke 2.41-52
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: