Mass & Directions

Reflection for December 30th, 2018: The Feast of the Holy Family

St. Francis Parish | December 30, 2018, 12:01 am | Reflections

As we come to the end of a calendar year we are in only the 5th week of the new Liturgical Year. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The fact that the Church identifies this Feast with the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is striking and seemingly redundant, however God desires all families to be holy. With this in mind, it seems fitting that we would be so specific.

As we hear in Luke’s Gospel today, Mary and Joseph journey home from their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. At the end of the first day, they come to realize that Jesus was not with them in the caravan. They hurry back to Jerusalem and anxiously search for Him. “After three days, they found Him in the temple.” (LK 2:46) Scared and likely very upset, they question Jesus, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (LK 2:48) Jesus’ reply is innocent and straightforward. “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (LK 2:49) Jesus left with them, “and was obedient to them.” (LK 2:51) One can only imagine the fear that Mary and Joseph must’ve felt. Not only had they lost their son but also the “Son of the Most High” (LK 1:32) who they were entrusted to care for and protect. Finding Jesus certainly brought relief but also frustration by seeing this as an act of disobedience on His part. As we learn, this was anything but. In fact, Jesus was displaying the ultimate form of obedience in that He set out to do the work His Father had sent Him here to do. To Him, this was the natural thing to do hence His sincere reply and is confirmed in His subsequent obedience to His parents.

Today we are reminded of our own call to be obedient to God. We too have work set out for us to do in His name. Though the word obedient may imply weakness or seem contrary to freedom, our strength and freedom are both dependant on it. Living God’s will and obeying His commandments gives us the grace we need to resist temptations and guarantees our freedom from the chains that would otherwise bind us to them.

Through a commitment to prayer and study, let the obedience of a 12 year old Jesus become natural to us in this New Year!

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