On this Feast of the Holy Family, we are called to reflect on the sanctity and significance of family life. Today’s readings guide us to look into the family of Abraham in the context of God’s covenant with him, the human family as the foundational structure where societal virtues are to be developed, and what we can learn from the earthly family wherein Jesus the Saviour of the world has been born for us.
In the first reading, the story of Abraham and Sarah reveals their journey of faith and trust. Even when God’s promise of descendants seemed impossible, given their advanced age, Abraham believed, and God fulfilled His covenant. This passage teaches us that God is faithful to His promises, even when circumstances seem impossible. It reminds us, too, of the importance of children for the future of every family, people, and nation.
In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he teaches us about making the family the centre of virtuous and holy living. The virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and respect expected within every home are all bound together by love. Love brings perfection to the practice of every virtue.
In the Gospel of Luke, we hear the story of the Holy Family going to Jerusalem to fulfil the religious customs of their time – the consecration of a firstborn baby to God. There, in the temple, the infant Jesus becomes the joy and fulfilment of the prayers and wishes of Simeon and Anna, who longed for the coming of the Messiah. The Holy Family becomes a living testimony to the fulfilment of God’s promises in the ordinary events of family life.
As we reflect on these readings, we are invited to contemplate the sanctity of family life. The Holy Family teaches us that God’s covenant extends to our homes.
As we journey through life, may we emulate the faith of Simeon and Anna, recognising the divine presence within our families. May our homes be places of prayer, joy, and the fulfilment of God’s promises.