We enter once again around the manger, but in the Temple, the dwelling place of God, where all are called to be. Jesus invites his parents to come to the demure of the Father. Hannah presented Samuel to God, because this child is a gift from the Lord, and will hand over to God everything that belongs to God. A just and praiseworthy gesture. Mary and Joseph, on the other hand, present the baby Jesus to the Temple, not alone, but with all his family, not as a gift received and given, but as a pilgrimage according to custom. This is how she introduces into the Church of the Lord, the pilgrimage that we must all make, towards the heavenly Jerusalem, the true home of God. We are all pilgrims, walking together, on the path of holiness, recognising that Jesus is our way, our truth and our life. He is our Alpha and Omega. It is giving oneself, without any reserve, just like prophet Samuel, in his obedience, to the will of his mother. Surrendering ourselves to the divine will is the first lesson of the Holy Family.
The feast of the Holy Family is a Trinitarian feast, for the Holy Family helps us to discover how the Trinity works in our families on earth. God prepared Joseph separately and accompanied him in a way of discretion and silence. In this preparation we don’t find the Spirit of the Lord, having an active role. However, we know that it was the Spirt which was active here. We are called to see what is invisible in what is visible. Thus, we discover in Mary, another type of preparation. Mary was prepared, even before her birth, with a priestly tradition, parents from the temple. Three PERSONS, accomplishing a marvellous work, for the human salvation.
Today we see one of the works of this couple, formed in the school of Trinity, a wonder for the whole family and a model to be imitated. This Holy Family, being faithful to the custom of the family, the culture, and the religion, invites us to discover our own cultures, both social and religious, and calls us to introduce the new generation into it. They are with the other members of the family and reveal to us the importance of others in our family building. God, who brings us together, wants our families to imitate this work of the Holy Family. All work in trust.
Although we work in trust, we discover failure, failure in the trust, and the responsibility. In the face of failure, we see no accusation or judgment. They discover that they committed a great mistake of confirmation and verification, and will correct it immediately and together. They commit themselves and share the suffering together. They seek each and every one, a mission, together, two sides, respecting their individuality which is very complementary. Both of them take a different way, knowing the incertitude before them, but trusting God in everything. In the family we have to grant this space of difference, different way of thinking and doing, with its legitimacy of existence. Unity is not synonymous with uniformity. Each one has its important role. Separately, they will accomplish a common mission.
In the family we have to grow together. We have the impression that we know our children well. It is Jesus who will make them to understand that he is in his Father's house. In front of our children, unfortunately, parents are always big and know everything. We should believe in the divine mystery, revealing to us, through our children. We do not have to understand everything, however, we need to believe in God and learn to trust the other. Let our family be a place of contemplation, a space reserved for silence. Mary kept everything in her heart. This place of silence and contemplation helps us to grow in faith, what us just before God. Let us never forget the prayer of the family, where we feel the emancipation of God’s presence. Let our children learn to pray, not only in the church, but in the home, from their parents.
In the family, there is need of the day, to imitate Jesus. Jesus teaches us to listen to the elders in the family. He has chosen to listen to his parents and we need to inculcate in the heart of every children of the day. On this day of the Holy Family, let us pray for divided families, separated families and couples in difficulty. May God bless our families and every member of it. Amen.