Mary and Joseph didn’t understand much about what was going on in their life since the visit of the Archangel Gabriel. From the moment of the Annunciation, followed by the nativity of Christ, in a very unusual environment, the threat from King Herod, their hasty escape into Egypt, their new life in a strange country, and finally their move back to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph must have been very confused. All of these events must have been for them a kind of surprise and a big shock, as well as moments of constant questioning: "What is going on with our life?” Certainly, all those events could have been a cause of mutual frustration and misunderstanding, quarrels, criticisms, grudges, resentments and bitterness. This Family was really going through very serious difficulties in their life yet they didn’t finish in a disaster or any kind of bitterness or accusations. It was rather the opposite a strengthening and intensification of their mutual love and understanding and closeness in their family life. Why?
Because Mary and Joseph were people of constant prayer and deep faith, and because Jesus was constantly with them. They were living in the constant presence of Jesus. Can you imagine what could happen with, and in our families if we allowed Jesus to be present in our daily life?
Today’s Feast of the Holy Family shows us that faith and prayer have to be the most important elements of our family life. Our families are in trouble; our contemporary families are in deep jeopardy if we do not allow Jesus to be present in them. Our faith, prayer, and the presence of Jesus in our families cannot be restricted to, or limited, to the scarce moments of Sunday Mass, or perhaps even less.
Prayer is supposed to become our daily companion and the source of answers for our questions: how to solve the problems, how to be a good father and good mother, a good husband and a good wife.
If faith and prayer are present in our homes, if Christ is present in our families, we can face the most difficult moments and the most challenging situations in our life and we will stay united. Where Christ is, there will be, mutual understanding, love strength and the building up of our family life. Our family then, following the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, will truly become the Family of God.
This is what I sincerely wish for all FAMILIES today on the Feast of the Holy Family ,that OUR parish be composed of Holy Families, following the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth.