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31st Dec. 2017 - The Holy Family

posted 29 Dec 2017, 08:29 by Veronica Yarwood

31st  December, 2017 - The Holy Family

 

It is no accident The Feast of The Holy Family

of Mary, Joseph and Jesus follows the Feast of

The Nativity of Our Lord. It reminds us that we

must not be strangers to one another.

"...the given is union: we are together. Do not

question that. Wife and husband are one. They

are committed to one another and must not pull

away from it.  As long as they keep holding

hands, they can call each other whatever they

want That is a fantastic image of the way God

loves us: God won't let go of our hand"

From 'A Man 's Approach to God' Richard Rohr

 

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Communication is the life blood of community

and family. Disintegration follows breakdown

in communication. Do not close any doors.

Relationship depends on openness, being open

to and with one another.

 

In other words, do not divide the field.. 'Either

or' must become 'both and' if we are ever to see

any kind of maturity in our relationships, if we

are ever to enjoy true dialogue instead of

constant confrontation. Just try using 'and'

instead of 'but' the next time there is a family

row.

 

The human family, the Christian family, the

church has to be big enough to compass and

enfold all our difference. The door closers, the

field dividers, the 'either or' people and the 'but,

but, but' people are always the greatest threat to

family, whether global, national, communal or

domestic. They cannot cope with difference and

the mystery of the other. To them all we say,

"Do not worry, we are all part of the, self-same

mystery"

 

Secondly, it is no accident that the Feast of The

Holy Family followed the Feast of the Nativity

of Our Lord, because Christ was not born in a

vacuum. The Nativity comes to pass in a certain

family, in a certain place, at a certain time It is

called incarnation, our trump card in world

religions and we do not think about it nearly

enough.

It does mean, for example, Jesus is not exempt

from the processes of upbringing we all

experience. So where did he learn to speak? In

his family. Where did he learn to tell stories? In

his family. Where did he learn to pray, joiner,

cook and clean? In his family, of course.

"Without Mary's creative mind and mystical

sensibility, Jesus would never have grown into

the awakening where he could inherit his

divinity. (John 0’ Donohoe)

 

In his family, Jesus experiences strangeness and

intimacy, love and uncertainty. There he learns

about peace and wellbeing. It says much for

Joseph but it is in his family that Jesus learns to

call God, 'Abba, Daddy'. The humanity of God

made man is underwritten, endorsed. and

guaranteed in his family.

 

Thirdly, it is no accident that the Feast of The

Holy Family follows the Feast of The Nativity

of Our Lord. Like Nativity the Holy Family is

outward-looking and creative, goes beyond kith

and kin and narrow privacy. Jesus is Saviour so

normal family life has to be sacrificed for the

sake of his mission. Let's never romanticise

Mary, Joseph and Jesus. That is to devalue The

Holy Family.

 

The Holy Family is a family, is a family, is a

family; an ordinary family who live family in an

extraordinary way. They are a 'reach out to the

world' family. They invite us to enlarge the

space in our hearts and our heads, to recognise

and be responsible for our global village.

 

So through our reflection on The Holy Family,

we may come to see, "There is no such thing as

other people's children." There are 400 million

of them in Africa under fifteen years of age. We

look to our continuing commitment to CAFOD.

We know we've got it right. Our mission and

outreach chimes in with the mission and

outreach of The Holy Family. In fact we are

fully paid-up members of that same family of

Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

 

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