See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
And so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is. (1 Jn 3:1-2)
When Christmas falls toward the end of the week as it does this year, the feasts really seem to come at us fast and furious. As a matter of fact, they come so fast that we tend to lose focus of all that we celebrate. Two days ago, we celebrated the Nativity of Jesus. Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This is an important feast. I encourage you to take the time necessary to focus upon it.
Two days ago, we celebrated the birth of a Child, a very special Child, the Son of God. That Son was born into a family. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were bound together in faith and love and show us what a family is all about.
At times, it is not very pretty. After all, the Holy Family had to pull up stakes and rush out of their country because Herod was looking for the Child Jesus in order to kill Him. Years later, the Holy Family would find themselves coming back from exile in Egypt. Some years after that, they would experience a moment of shock as they lost their Son. Today’s Gospel tells us of the story of Jesus being left behind in Jerusalem and the anxiety that caused. Several years after that, we will see a mother torn with grief at the foot of the cross of her Son.
Family is not always real pretty. Things happen in families that are not always happy events. Yet families are forged by love and commitment.
John reminds us of the special family that we have become by the virtue that we are already children of God. We do not have to wait for any special moment to come about in order for that to happen. We are not going to become God’s children some day. We already are.
That is incredibly Good News. When we finally see God face-to-face, we will understand that great mystery completely. Until the time we meet up with God, though, we can cling to the hope of being united one day.
We often forget that we are already members of God’s family. Our families on earth are not always perfect. Sometimes they are messy. Sometimes they are fractured. Sometimes they are incredibly painful. We ask God today to bless our families. For the ones that are intact, we ask Him to bless our families with even more love and joy. For our families that are in disarray, we ask God to bring healing and peace.
FAITH ACTION: Take some time today to tell your family members how much they mean to you and then take some time in silent prayer to thank God for making you His child.