Study: Recall a time when you were particular grateful for the gift of your family. What made the difference?
Pray: Reflect on the needs of your family. Thank the Lord for your blessings and offer your petitions for their needs.
Serve: How can you help someone in your family right now?
Big or small, far-flung or close to home…we all come from a family. Sometimes our families are in better/worse places, depending on emotions, finances, relationships, illness, death, and a multitude of challenges and blessings that life can throw our way.
And while no family is perfect, every family provides opportunities for us to grow. Whether it is getting along, practicing forgiveness, being patient, working together, or dealing with the idiosyncrasies that are part of every human group…there is no place like family for teaching us lessons that are part of our journey to become the best version of ourselves.
The Holy Family faced plenty of blessings and burdens. Here are a few of the blessings:
- Encounters with the angel Gabriel
- Choirs of angels singing and rejoicing
- Visits from distant Magi and nearby shepherds
- The brilliant light of the Star as a sign from God
But, then, there are some real burdens:
- Explaining Mary’s pregnancy (before marriage to Joseph)
- Fleeing for their lives from King Herod’s soldiers
- Refugees in Egypt – far from family
- And one day…Mary will stand before the Cross of Jesus
Clearly, this family is unlike any other; yet together they faced situations that are similar to many even today. They knew what it was like to be grateful for what they had, and they knew what it was like to face suffering and pain.
But there’s two points I want us to hold close:
- They did it together
- God was with them
What’s true for the Holy Family is true for our families! We have opportunities to work together, cooperating and uniting to strengthen the bonds within our families – and when we face challenges we call upon the Lord to give us the grace and strength we need to put faith into family, hope into our homes, and love into our lives.
May this season give us plenty of opportunities to work together with God’s grace in our families – the place where we have been located by the Lord to practice our “homework for holiness” as we journey through this life.
Note: This post was first published on December 25, 2014.