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2012
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Feast of the Holy Family

Luke 2:51 – “… and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”

The Church gives us the joy of celebrating the Sunday between the Christmas and the New Year as the Feast of the Holy Family. It is a unique and significant Feast, which calls to mind the time of Jesus’ childhood and the decisive and irreplaceable role of his parents, a man and a woman, parents of the Son of God.

Certainly very special parents assuming their role in fulfilling the expressed will of God; a role that matured over the course of their service, like in today’s Gospel, which records the loss and finding of Jesus in Jerusalem during the feast of Passover.

In his ministry, one of the most eloquent passages on the preaching of Jesus remains the discourse on the Mount. Among the Beatitudes there is one that eloquently explains today’s event, demonstrated in the life of the Holy Family, and specifically that of Mary: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

An unspeakable consolation that sooths the pain of grief and the tears is the finding of Jesus after having been deliberately lost. During the turbulent flight of the same Holy family into Egypt (cf. Mt. 1, 13-15; 19-23) Jesus, an infant is still present and, therefore, brings some consolation to the two new parents even through suffering. But grief is pungent and certain in this period of loss, where the actual physical absence of Jesus causes dismay that only his finding turns into consolation and joy.

All that Mary and Joseph do not understand, as well as Jesus’ expressed statement that he must fulfill the will of his Father in Heaven (cf. Lk 2:49-50), illuminates what has been experienced.

Here in the episode of today’s feast we are taught the vital and necessary attitude of Mary who, more often than not, must stand in life as a response to the many questions and doubts that arise and will remain, especially in the relationship between parents and children, to guard and keep everything in her heart. We pray that one day those things which are in darkness will be in the light, things uncertain will be made evident and the searching for how to fully and joyfully accept the will of the Father for us.

Greetings to all Christian families!

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