Feast of the Holy Family
Sirach 3: 2-6, 12-14 Col. 3:12-21 Luke 2:41-52
We all have had experiences of panic and fright that occur when something is lost. But what must have been like for Mary and Joseph to search for days for the Son of God entrusted to them?
The Feast of the Holy Family celebrated this year just one day after honoring the birth of Jesus enlightens the sacredness of life. In a split second, joy is transformed into sadness. Following the agony of childbirth, parents are overjoyed with holding a new life. Like Mary and Joseph, parents today flee unsafe homelands in hopes of finding safety in a foreign land where all will be nurtured by a welcoming community.
The responsibility of caring for anything or anyone alive is often met with bumps in the road and straightening out the curves. Still, the uncertainty of raising a child is constant pressure on parents. Injuries, illnesses, and challenging behavioral patterns are components of children from youth through adulthood that traumatize parents. These occurrences can bring a family closer together or can create broken relationships.
Fortunately for Mary and Joseph, Jesus was found safely, but there must have been a pain in hearing: “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business? Rather than an apology for the anguish, he had caused them. This was another experience of joy turning to sorrow.
Perhaps the lesson found in the Finding in the Temple is that God creates and watches over all life. Our stewardship is required, but the omnipotent God is in control. This is the power of a merciful God who will be with us in our unfound losses. The joys of our happy endings are an act of faith we will realize as life continues. Relinquishing our power is the challenge faced in every loss and found.
It is prayed by us so often, but do we believe: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?”
Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP