Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful. (Col 3:12-15)
Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. This is a feast in the Church that many people approach with trepidation. The primary reason, most likely, is because their families may not be sources of love and peace. Their families may be torn by strife. They may be fragmented or broken apart. Because of that, “Family” can be very stressful for some people.
It was for the Holy Family, too. Think about it. While engaged, Mary told Joseph she was pregnant with a child that was not Joseph’s. That would be incredibly stressful.
It was getting close to the days that Jesus would be born and they had to be uprooted and proceed to Bethlehem for a census. The travel was rough, especially for a woman close to term. Bandits were all over the roads. There was no room in the inn. More stress.
After Jesus was born and after the Magi came to see Him, they were told to flee their own native land and go to Egypt because a king wanted to kill their child. Even more stress.
Watching Jesus grow up and become a man, Mary heard talk about how others wanted to kill Jesus. Ultimately, she stood at the foot of His cross. Off-the-charts stress.
Yet, in all of this, faith in God kept the family intact. Their belief that they were doing God’s will and that they were entrusted to one another helped them get through awful times.
Our families are a lot like the Holy Family after all. We endure incredible stress at times. Yet God has entrusted us to one another and asked us to rely on Him for all that we need. With God’s love, we can overcome anything that comes our way.
Live in holiness today. I know you can do it. So does God!
FAITH ACTION: If you live with your family, try to do something together today to celebrate your bond. If you live alone, prayerfully call to mind each member of your family and ask God to bless each one abundantly.