Readings for December 27, 2020
Feast of the Holy Family
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
The Holy Family is formed in the love of the Trinity. The Trinity is God the Father pouring out His love for His Son and the Son returning that love in obedience and honor. The love itself is the Holy Spirit. And my own family should be similarly formed.
“The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2205). This may seem more difficult for us, of course, as most of us do not have a family with an infant God, a mother born without original sin, and a perfectly chaste spouse known to be “the terror of demons.” But whether it is truly more difficult for me or not (considering the many unique challenges and perils that the Holy Family faced, I would say that it is not), my calling is the same.
Ben Sira paints a picture of what a Holy Family should look like. “God sets a father in honor over His children” (I particularly like this one). And, of course, “a mother’s authority He confirms over her sons.” And, for the kids of the family, “Whoever honors his father atones for sins” and “he stores up riches who reveres his mother.” While perhaps daily life does not always echo this reverence and honor between family members, when we can muster up the gumption to do so, we will be blessed by our Father in heaven.
Sirach also writes that when we live out the love of the Trinity in our own family, our prayers will be heard. The presupposition is, then, that the imitation of the love of the Trinity is firmly founded upon prayer. Few families are truly perfect, including my own. But with prayer and in love, we can nonetheless strive to be Holy Families, even in the reality of brokenness.
Lord, help my family live as a Holy Family, in the model of the Trinity. And Lord, particularly at this time of the celebration of the birth of our Savior, pour the love of Your Most Holy Trinity down upon those families that are suffering through brokenness. God, our Father, be a Father to us now. Amen