Today, the Sunday within the week after Christmas, is the Feast of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
the gospel reading for this year;s feast is the story of an adolescent Jesus who stays behind in the temple of Jerusalem while his parents search for him, not knowing his whereabouts. Jesus was immersed in what he considered "His Father's business" discussing and studying the Law of God with the teachers in the Temple. Maybe Jesus had just celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, his becoming a "son of the Law".
However the gospel says he left Jersualem wth Mary and Joseph, and went to Nazareth "where he was subject to them." It goes on to say how Jesus grew in wisdom, grace and favor before God and men.
The tragic events of the recent past make us realize how precious each human life is, especially the lives of our children.
Our family was blessed with a new arrival in the form of a beautiful little girl named Harleigh, born December 7. May she be blessed with many graces and continued good health. I guess it is a sign of maturring when it is all too easy for me to remember my sister, the new grandmother, as a curly topped red-headed three year old. I was supposed to be watching her when all of a sudden she was not in the house. I was a teenager who had been lost in conversation with a girl friend. I ran out to our corral and there was Rita smack under the belly of one of our mares. Neither the horse nor Rita seemed to be excited when I approached to snatch my little sister from a potentially dangerous situation. I believe in the existence f Guardian Angels. That was one of the many incidents that reinforce my belief.
As we celebrate Jesus' being part of a real flesh and blood family, we ask to put on the virtues that make our families true homes full of love, patience, humility, and all the virtues needed to live as Christians today.
Best regards to all the members of the Holy Family Imstitute who celebrate their common Feast Day today!