Homily – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph 12/30/12

Homily – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph  12/30/12

During the Christmas Season, we are reminded that God, who is Love, became Incarnate in the Holy Family.

Just as Jesus, Love incarnate, is at the center of that first Holy Family of Mary and Joseph’s, and also at the center of their marriage, so Love incarnate should be at the center of every Holy Family of believers and every Christian marriage union.

But sometimes, even in the best of families, even in the best of marriages, Love can get lost.

Time goes by, we are preoccupied with other things, and all of a sudden we look around and say “wait a minute, where did the Love that was so central to our family relationships, so central to our marriage, where did that Love go?”
And as with Mary and Joseph, great anxiety and sorrow sets into our family life.

We search everywhere, make every effort, but Love is nowhere to be found, to the point where it seems we have lost the Love we once cherished, have lost the Love that was once so alive in our family relationships, for good.

But that first Holy Family didn’t call off the search for that lost Love, Mary and Joseph kept seeking, kept working at it, until they found that Love again.

And when the crises was over, and they again found that Love that was central to their family again, Jesus said to them, according to a well known, different translation than the one we just read, Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?

It is in times when love seems lost, when even God seems lost in our family relations, it is in those times that Jesus is most about His Father’s business. Its in the times when our families are going through great sorrow or stressful trials that Jesus is working behind the scenes in ways we are not privileged to see.
If families and married couples persevere through trials and sorrows, persevere through those dark times when Love seems to be hopelessly lost, they, like Mary and Joseph, will find Love again.

But the Love Mary and Joseph found was no longer the same, it had forever changed.  Mary and Joseph lost the child Jesus, but they found the young adult Jesus. They found a stronger, wiser Love than they had had before; a more mature Love.

Love for the Christian Family, for the Christian Marriage, is forever growing in age and wisdom and grace, at times dying to the old only to rise again to a new and better and stronger Love.

This is why the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple is both one of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, and one of the Seven Sorrows of Mary and Joseph.

May we make Jesus, Love incarnate, the center of our family bonds. May we have faith in times of family crises, that Jesus is about His Father’s business, working behind the scenes in our families, in ways we can’t understand now but will joyfully understand later, if we persevere in seeking Him.

And may the Most Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless all the families of St. Joseph’s Parish as well as our Parish Family of St. Joseph’s, this Christmas Season and upcoming New Year.

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