December 28th, 2014 – Feast of the Holy Family – Year B

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Today’s feast of the Holy Family is about God’s promise. God promised Abraham and Sarah many descendants “as countless as the sands on the seashore” (Second Reading). The promise was fulfilled; Jesus was born into the household of Joseph and Mary. Jesus, the light of all nations, was presented to Simeon and Anna and the glory for all peoples. Glenn CJ Byer tells us that the prayers form the feast remind us that Jesus was part of a real family. Today’s psalm proclaims “He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac.”

The main purpose of the feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christians and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the “domestic church” or the “church in miniature.” Saint John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a “family church,” and in doing so, we sanctify the family unit.

Why is it so difficult for us to embrace the call to Christian holiness? May the texts of today’s liturgy wash over us so that we may follow the call to holiness as described in the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium: “The faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (40). Then in God’s time, not ours, will the promise of salvation be fulfilled for all.