There is nothing more important in our lives than our families, and there is nothing more important in our families than God. For this reason, our goal as a community of faith is to form solid families that are united in the Lord.
The Holy Family of Nazareth serves as an example for us to follow. What may seem to be a simple family in the eyes of others could in fact be the most holy and wonderful family, living each moment in the presence of God, but never forgetting that each member is in the world for the other members: to care, to respect and to love, always walking together to- ward the same promise of eternal life.
In a family, each member is important, and each is essential. When a part of the family is away for whatever reason, something is missing. We all know families in which the mother is not present, and we all know how her absence affects the dynamics and the lives of the rest of the family. There is a special touch that the mother brings to the family that cannot be re- placed, because she is unique. Similarly, when the father is absent, the whole family is affected. In both cases, each of the remaining members need to work harder to continue to sustain their family, both physically and spiritually.
Sons and daughters are also the life of the family…. I hope and I pray none of you will experience the tragedy of losing a child; sadly, some have suffered such a loss. As sons and daughter of our families, it is our responsibility to love and care for our parents and grandparents if you are still blessed with their presence.
Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, the gift of a family has been entrusted to you, to grow in holiness, like the Family of Nazareth. Each of us should work to experience in our families love and understanding, forgiveness and compassion, always and everywhere sharing the presence of God. This is not an inert presence, but the living presence of God, the One who gives joy and hope when we experience sadness or
depression. God gives us strength when we believe that we cannot go farther. Our God is as alive in our families as Jesus was in his Family of Nazareth.
If we strive for our families to mirror the love of the Holy Family, we will inspire our children to do the same. Soon, not only will we have changed ourselves, we will have fostered a dynamic that looks for greatness, for God. Then our families will strive toward holiness. Please pray especially today for your own family, but pray united as a family to the one God who was a Son to Mary and Joseph.