The Holy Family of Jesus Mary and Joseph Year C (12-30-2012) - Fr. Linh

Welcome everyone to the program IN THE BEGINNING. I am Fr. Linh. Today we celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – Year C. Our Gospel passage is from Saint Luke, chapter two, from verse forty-one to fifty-two. A young mother had trouble with a small son who had locked himself in the bathroom, and either could not or would not open the door. In desperation, she finally called the fire department and explained their difficulty. Told it was a little boy, the fireman called, “You come out of there, little girl!” The door promptly flew open, and an indignant boy marched out, and yelled, “I'm not a little girl.” The fireman grinned, “Works nearly every time.” Our lesson in this Sunday’s Gospel is about the family life. We know that Jesus came from the best of families. We know that his father and mother were devout Jews, who were determined to attending the Passover in Jerusalem each year. We know from stories about his birth, that Mary and Joseph trusted God. We know that Jesus confounded the scholars in the temple with his questions, when he was only twelve years of age. Yet, this very incident happened so extraordinary that each of us may have different points of views when we look on it. When his parents found him there, Mary scolded her son, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” Jesus answered, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Luke tells us that Mary and Joseph did not really understand what Jesus meant by this, but he finally went home with them and was obedient to them. Most of us are concerned about our families, aren’t we? What is it that happens even in the best of families? Well, for one thing, CONFLICT. Despite Jesus’ reasonable intention to remain in the Temple, we still see the conflict between Mary and Joseph and their twelve-year-old son. Well, that’s not unusual. There is conflict between husbands and wives. There is conflict between parents and children. Even in the best of families, conflict takes place. And we need to understand that, and accept that, and deal with that as the unavoidable process that must take place as a child grows toward adulthood. For example, there comes a time for leaving Mom and Dad, a time for making one’s own way, for creating one’s own identity. So part of the conflict is a very natural process. We should not panic when hurtful words are spoken, when disturbing thoughts or ideas are expressed. But in the Gospel story, we notice that something else happened in the family of Nazareth: COMMUNICATION. Jesus returned to Nazareth with his parents and was obedient to them. This fact shows us that he was an obedient son as a teenager. I hope young people understand the value of obedience. I hope every young person knows that Mom and Dad are on your side. When they say, “What we really want is your best good,” they really mean it. Even though parents can make mistakes, and often do, what’s in their heart is what counts. Most young people appreciate that. Though Mary scolded Jesus, we notice that she kept these things and pondered them in her heart. She loved her son. She wanted to understand him. She wanted to reach out to him. It demonstrates that the family of Nazareth was of a family in harmony. In such an environment, Luke tells us that Jesus increased in wisdom and age and in favor with God and man. There is one more thing in the best of families: COMMITMENT. In a healthy marriage, a husband and wife are committed to each other as well as to their children. Parents and children are committed to each other. Of course, that is also a lifelong commitment. However, at each stage, the relationship may change. One more thing, the best of families are committed not only to one another, but to God. The family that prays together stays together. Again, conflict happens even in the best of families. Nonetheless, good communication and commitment can help resolve it. It was once said, “Good family life is never an accident but always an achievement by those who share it.” Whatever position you are in the family, learn to contribute your share. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, you have given us the model of life in the Holy Family of Nazareth. Help us to make our family another Nazareth where love, peace, and joy reign. Help us to stay together in joy and sorrow in family prayer. Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our families, especially in their distressing disguise. May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus make our hearts humble like his and help us to carry out our family duties in a holy way. May we love one another as God loves each one of us, more and more each day, and forgive each other’s faults as you forgive our sins. Holy Family of Nazareth, make our family and home more and more like yours, until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen. 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