Feast of the Holy Family, year ’C’ la Sainte Famille année ’C’

“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?”
Monday 23 November 2015

1 Sm.1,20-22.24-28 Ps.83 1 Jn.3,1-2.21-24 Lk.2,41-52

Holy Family, year ’C’

“Every year, Jesus’ parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it.They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances.”

On this feast day of the Holy Family, we turn towards our own families in the image of the Holy family of Nazareth, of Jesus Mary and Joseph. We contemplate Mary’s love for Jesus; we see Joseph love them and enter into this love and so the Love that comes from God is offered to us. In this way we are lead along the path of love with the very same Love of God! ’Beloved, see with what Love the Father has loved us!’ Mary and Jospeh love each other with a love that is so new. All love goes through ordeals : ’Why were you looking for m? Didn’t you know? I had to be in my father’s house.’ We discover the intimacy Jesus has with His Father, that which He wants for Mary who keeps all things in her heart. When Jesus’ agony occurs, she will make sense of this event.

“When they failed to find him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. It happened that three days later they found him sitting in the Temple among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions and all those who heard him were astonished at his intelligence and his replies. They were ove come when they saw him and his other said ’My child! Why have you done this to us! See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you!”

The Gospel recounts to us this pain Mary and Joseph went through when they couldn’t find their child : “My child, why did you do this to us? See how worried your father and I have been looking for you!” We learn that the Salvation of the world is at stake in this love, as the Gospel announced. There is also a suffering born in love that we see here. The elderly Simeon had said to Mary ’Behold, your son is destined to be a sign that opposed- and a sword will pierce your heart, so that the secrets of many will be uncovered."’

These new links that link us are also loaded with sorrow. It is God who saves us. This Word of God in the heart of Mary’s deeply wounded heart resounds now and is like a balm. Anguish can torture the human heart, and yet this same heart is not far from the Love of God. We believe that we must love over and above any obstacle in the way of love!

“Jesus replied ’Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he meant. He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and with people.”

Our families are not exempt from pain and sorrow. Jesus is ’missing’ and this provokes in Mary and in Joseph such a mysterious suffering. it is not that God has abandoned them! Nor is it a fruit of sin! The mystery of the salvation often world is lived out here. At the Cross, Mary will understand what was being played out during her suffering due to the links built up between them. They are so deep, corresponding to the love shared between them. The Christian family is the place of the grace of the Love of God. This Love is founded on faith. ’This is his commandment : ’ Have faith in his Son lord Jesus Christ and let us love one another as He commanded us to do.“It is the mystery of man and woman in their Love and it is the mystery of the child who is fruit of this Love. The first reading speaks of the mystery of the fecundity of prayer : Anne prays to receive the child whom she presents tin the Temple. The place of the Holy Family is the place of supplication.”Lord God of the universe, hear my prayer.’ To have faith in his beloved Son and for us to love each other as He commanded us to do. In all things, remain in Love. The commandment of new Love is rooted in our lives through faith, at the school of Mary. And so we enter more and more into an intimacy with God joined to the intimacy of Jesus and His Father.

We ask for the grace to be faithful to our call so that our life may be fecund.