The Holy Family reveals how God is present within our families at all times in life – good and bad – and supports us with grace and strength. Holy Family, pray for us!
Tag Archives: Family Life
The Gospel of Matthew recounts the genealogy of Jesus, showing us the times of blessing and sin within the Lord’s extended family. This list gives us hope, as God continues to work in our own families today.
A 2018 Nielsen report shows that Americans now spend over 11 hours a day looking at a screen. Eleven hours! Fr. Andrew’s parishioners are familiar with his annual “Summer Challenge,” and he offers some thoughts here about what we can to ditch the screen time and embrace hundreds of alternative activities that are good for body, mind, heart, and soul.
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.
The relatives of Jesus in the Gospel today show us that sometimes our family dynamics can cause stress and struggle. Yet our families can also be the place where we are supported and nurtured to grow. May we give our best effort to our family as we encourage and build up one another.
Family life is crazy and chaotic, sometimes blissful, sometimes frustrating, big and noisy, small and quiet, in a every shape, size and configuration imaginable. Yet it is within the specific context of our families that we grow in faith and life lessons. May we look to the Holy Family for inspiration as we seek the best in our families, dedicate earnest effort in supporting them, and pray every day for the Lord’s guidance and strength.
After the praise of Anna in the Temple, Mary and Joseph return home to Nazareth where Jesus will grow in strength and wisdom. It’s a good reminder about the power of a family to foster faith, encourage goodness and build lasting bonds of love. May we dedicate ourselves to building up our own families each and every day.
Fr. Andrew shares some of the Advent ideas that people shared with him on his Facebook page in the areas of Prayer, Scripture, Spiritual Reading, Liturgy, and Family Life.
We stir into flame our faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, sacraments, and our relationships with one another.
The start of a new school year is a fresh beginning, just like a plain piece of paper, and it can become anything – a prayer, composition, work of art or even an airplane! Students are given three keys for a powerful year: daily prayer, hard work, and being the best kid they can be in their families.