I am always struck by the fact that the eternal Son of God chose to come into this world as a little baby. It did not have to be this way — Jesus could have come as an adult human being, or at some other stage — but Jesus came as a little baby so that He might experience everything that human beings experience.
And Jesus was born into a family — the Holy Family which we celebrate today. The moment Jesus was conceived, the moment Mary consented to receiving Christ, and the moment Joseph took Mary into his home, the Holy Family began to be. And Jesus Christ of course was central to this family. All of the trials that they underwent, being born in a stable, the flight into Egypt to escape Herod, etc. were because Jesus was central to this family. The Holy Family had Jesus at the center and is designed to show us how our families should be.
How many families have never occurred because Christ was not kept central in the lives of men and women who have come together to bear children?
How many families have split apart because Christ was not kept central to the family as the love that keeps men and women together?
How many families live with strife and without joy even now because Christ is not kept central in the daily occurrences of their lives?
The Lord Jesus did not come as an adult, He came as a little baby, dependent upon a family to nurture Him – but now it is the Lord Jesus that is the one that nurtures families through His presence in their lives. Only Jesus can bring true peace — only He can bring true love — only He can bring true joy to a family.
And so we must ask ourselves: how often do we pray within our families?
How often do we worship together as a family at Mass?
How often do we spend time together in the loving embrace of our family members?
Or let us ask ourselves, how often do we go our own way within our family, turning within ourselves with our televisions, our smart devices, and our work?
Which path do we think — common prayer and worship, or individual living and pursuits — will keep a family together? Which path will keep Christ in the center, so that our family is protected?
The good news is that we have great hope that we can keep Christ central in our families. We can resolve to pray together more, whether it is prayer at meals, prayer before bedtime, a family Rosary. We can increase the amount of religious discussion that we have around the dinner table. We can spend quality time with one another sharing the love that Christ has for our families. We can turn to Christ at any time.
On this feast of the Holy Family, let us pray that through the intercession of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, our families will be kept holy, peaceful, and joyful, knowing that peace, joy, and holiness can only come with keeping Christ central in our lives.