Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Within this octave of Christmas, we take time to meditate and wonder at the Incarnation, i.e. God – became – man, and the setting in which it takes place. Poor and, in the eyes of the word, insignificant persons, Mary and Joseph. They have little to offer by way of material possessions, but the love and gratefulness with which they surround the Christ Child is immeasurable. Love makes this family holy. First, they recognize the love that comes from God. Without that love all human love becomes paltry and fickle. The sacrificial love we see in the Holy Family is based on what they can give NOT on what they can get. Mary and Joseph, in spite of difficulties they face are 100% obedient to God. They have place all their trust in Him, most especially in caring for God-dependent-on-them in Jesus.
Family life is the bedrock of society and culture, at least a society and culture, that seek to preserve humanity and advance God’s kingdom on earth. We look to the Holy Family to provide that example and, of course, to discover the precepts by which all families may flourish. In today’s scripture passages, we find all the values necessary for families to treasure. The Book of Sirach teaches the way we ought to treat each other. St. Paul lists the qualities we should manifest in our families. And St. Luke recounts the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Ever faithful to God and obedient to His Will, Mary and Joseph fulfill the prescriptions of the Mosaic law. There is more than enough in God’s Holy Word this day to give parents and children all they need to effect a tranquil and beautiful family life.
As we begin the new civil year, on January 1st, 2021, we honor Mary as the Holy Mother of God. She reminds us that God wanted and still wants to save us with our cooperation. If She had turned down the Angel Gabriel’s message would we be here today? A humble human being said “yes” to God and our salvation became a reality. As Mary has set the perfect example so, too, we as her children, should follow.
Begin the New Year making the resolve to always say “Yes” to God, even in the most difficult circumstances. May the joy and peace of this Holy Season remain with you.