The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph    

Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3   Colossians 3:12-21    Luke 2:22-40  

IMG 0278This Feast-day is very much about Nazareth! An integral part of any family is its home.  Nazareth was the Home of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

It was at Nazareth that Mary received the message from Gabriel that she was to be the mother of Jesus.  It was at Nazareth that it was revealed, in a dream, to Joseph that he was to be the father of Jesus and to give him his name.  It was in another dream that Joseph was guided by an angel to flee from cruel Herod and then in turn, through the revelation in another dream that he was told to return to Nazareth.

Mary was the mother of the home at Nazareth and Nazareth was very much her home.  At Nazareth Mary grew up and at Nazareth she learned of her call to be Mother of God.  From Nazareth Mary would journey into the hill country to minister to her cousin in her time of need. To Nazareth Mary would return after the trauma of losing her son in Jerusalem.  Nazareth was where Mary was grounded, where she found strength where blessings and grace flowed to her. Nazareth was the place to prepare the Child Jesus for his Messianic role.

Pope Saint Paul VI described the home of Nazareth as the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus, the school of the Gospel.  “The first lesson we learn here is to look, to listen, to meditate and penetrate the meaning – at once so deep and so mysterious – of this very simple, very beautiful manifestation of the Son of God.”

To listen and to meditate at this home of Nazareth we are led into a sacred Silence.  Silence teaches us recollection which in turn brings us in touch with the presence of God.  Here we learn the lessons of family and true family values.  These family values are the very basis of upright and holy society.  Here, as we look on Joseph we learn the lessons of work ethic, cooperating with the wonder of all of God’s creation.

As we notice the security and the love of this home of Nazareth we pray that it be replicated in our world and in our day.  Alas, our world today is losing the understanding of and the appreciation of many of the values of Christian family life.  We pray for families torn apart by domestic violence, by greed and crime and particularly, at this time, by the horror of war and rampant inhumanity. Today is a time to pray for those who work in order to support their families.  We pray that their work may be blessed and appreciated by those for whom they work.  

Mary Mother of Jesus and our Mother show mothers how to love.  Joseph, protector and teacher of Jesus and protector of our Church watch over us and show us how to care.  Jesus, our Lord and brother be close to us.