Feast of the Holy Family


Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This feast takes place on the Sunday immediately following Christmas, falling within the season of Christmas fittingly to continue to call our attention to the profound reality of God becoming man. On this feast we are reminded of the humanity of Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph. Jesus grew up in their home. The only thing we know about Jesus’ childhood, apart from His infancy, is the account we hear in today’s Gospel. We do learn quite a few things about the Holy Family from this gospel account. First, we see that they are a faithful Jewish family. Second, we learn that they traveled in a “caravan” that probably included many, many relatives and friends. Third, we see that Mary and Joseph had typical parental concerns. Not being able to find Jesus for three days caused them “great anxiety.” Fourth, Jesus’ response to Mary and Joseph when they find Him reveals that their role, although essential, was to be subordinate to the will of Jesus’ Father in Heaven. The passage does tell us that Jesus “was obedient to them,” but this obedience was always connected to His perfect obedience to God. Likewise, our families are to be reflections of our relationship with God.

In the bulletin from our parish, they had a consecration prayer to the Holy Family.  I share it below.  May the holy family continue to guide and watch over us.

O Lord Jesus, you lived in the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.  There you grew in age, wisdom, and grace as you prepared to fulfill your mission as our Redeemer.  We entrust our family to you.  O Blessed Mary, you are the Mother of our Savior.  At Nazareth you cared for Jesus and nurtured him in the peace and joy of your home.

We entrust our family to you.  O Saint Joseph, you provided a secure and loving home for Jesus and Mary and gave us a model of fatherhood while showing us the dignity of work. We entrust our family to you. Holy Family, we consecrate ourselves and our family to you. May we be completely united in a love that is lasting, faithful, and open to the gift of new life.  Help us to grow in virtue, to forgive one another from our hearts, and to live in peace all our days. Keep us strong in faith, persevering in prayer, diligent in our work, and generous toward those in need.  May our home, O Holy Family, truly become a domestic church where we reflect your example in our daily life. Amen.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!