The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
December 29, 2019 – Year A
Readings: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 / Ps 128 / Col 3:12-21 / Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Today is a special day. Not only are we still within the octave of Christmas, but we are celebrating a big feast, one that each and every one of us is a part of.
Children are God’s gifts. Those of you who have lived in this world long enough may say that there are even greater gifts, and they are grandchildren. It is beyond doubt that, for grandchildren, their grandparents are the greatest and the most wonderful people in the whole world. This is usually their first experience of an extended family.
Today we are celebrating the feast of the Holy Family, the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The good news is that, by virtue of our baptism, we all become part and an extension of the family in Nazareth. And so, in a way we are also celebrating today the feast of every Christian family in the world.
It is a joy to see grandparents, parents, and grandchildren attending Mass together on Christmas and on any given Sunday or weekday. Early in life, these children will be aware of the fact that all these people they see in the church are not strangers. They are their spiritual grandpa, grandma, aunts, uncles, siblings, moms, and dads, because we are all members of God’s family here on earth.
The way we communicate with each other in today’s digital age may be different compared to how we did twenty or thirty years ago, but the basic human desire of each individual remains the same: We all have a need to love and be loved, and our goal in life is still to be happy.
If you search the internet, you can read the results of a number of studies that tell us that social media, text messages, video games, etc., could destroy the closeness and interpersonal relationship of the family. Some people are worried, but I am not. Nor is the Holy Father.
Pope Francis, in his message during the Fiftieth World Day of Social Communications, said that the internet, text messages, and social networks are gifts from God. He added, “It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal.”
Here in Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church we thank God, because the younger members of our church family, who are digital natives, may be using all types of social media or video games, but they are also coming to church with their families on a regular basis. They listen to God’s living words; worship our Lord’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist; and receive the sacraments. For as long as our church families continue to pray together, we are all in the process of forming a Holy Family.
May we continue to put into practice Saint Paul’s admonitions in his letter to the Colossians, which we have heard in this Sunday’s second reading, when he said: “Brothers and sisters, put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience… And over all these, put on love… And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”