We celebrate the Holy Family today. Mary and Joseph had complete trust in God’s plan. In the gospel today Matthew focusses on two completely opposite men; Joseph and Harrod. Harrod was a tyrant. He was rich and powerful but always lived in fear of losing his power to anyone; even his own three sons. Family meant nothing to him. In modern terms he would represent hate and anger that destroys peace and love and eventually relationships. By extreme contrast we witness the life of Joseph; a man of humility and simplicity. He wasn’t rich or famous. He didn’t have servants or an army, but what he did have was great faith and trust in God. He accepted his role and knew his place was to be a protector and provider for his family. Joseph heeds the warning he received in a dream, without question, with a heart of great obedience to the will of God. His action is immediate, setting out in the darkness to take the difficult journey to Egypt. This journey laid the groundwork for the return from Egypt, fulfilling the prophesy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene. Joseph becomes the patriarch of the Holy Family. We look at our modern world intent on destroying the fabric of the family. What can we learn from the Holy Family? Pope Paul VI reflected in 1968 the three key lessons to learn from the Holy Family.
1. Silence; we need this wonderful state of mind to combat the pressures and noise of the world.
2. A community of love and sharing; a model of what the family should be.
3. Discipleship. To teach their children so that they will have the knowledge and wisdom and love of Christ and help others in their journey.
As this year comes to an end and another soon begins, let us reflect on the Holy Family and how we can model our own families after them.