27 Dec


(A biblical reflection on THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY – Sunday, 27 December 2015)


Gospel Reading: Luke 2:41-52 

First Reading: 1 Samuel 1:20-22,24-28; Psalms: Psalm 84:2-3,5-5,9-10; Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-2,21-24 

The Scripture Text 

Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us so? Behold, Your father and I have been looking for You anxiously.” And He said to them, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you know that I must be in My Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which He spoke them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart. 

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:41-52 RSV) 

The Holy Family is a sign of hope to all parents who seek to bear witness to the love of God in this world. The wisdom Joseph showed as he led his family to safety in Egypt; Mary’s submission to her husband and to God; the love and concern they displayed as they searched for Jesus in the temple – these glimpses into the life of this family show us how much like us they were. Mary and Joseph had to obey God when the future was uncertain; they worried when their child was lost; even Jesus had to learn obedience to His parents.

Mary and Joseph had to do the ordinary things that all parents do. Mary had to get up at night to feed Jesus and change His diapers. Joseph had to work hard to support his family. They must have had many of the same concerns of daily living that we encounter. And yet, through the ups and down of life, they stayed close to God. As a consequence, Jesus was ready to fulfil God’s plan when the time came for Him to begin His ministry.

At this point we (you and I) might be thinking: “That’s all well and good, but they were chosen by God for this task. Even angels came and spoke to them.” The fact is, we also are chosen by God: We are all “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” (Colossians 3:12). Not only that, we have been given the promised Holy Spirit to teach, guide, and comfort us. Our families can be just as special as the Holy Family.

We should take time to seed wisdom from the scriptures and to ask the Holy Spirit how we (you and I) can best care for our families. We must take hold of the grace available to each of us. God will honor our efforts to make each of our homes a dwelling place for Him. He loves to bless all families.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I consecrate my family to You and ask You to bless our home. I trust in Your love for all the members of my family. Give me power and wisdom by Your Holy Spirit; guide me in loving those who are closest to me. Amen. 

Jakarta, 24 December 2015 

A Christian Pilgrim


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