Holy Family

The Holy Family consists of St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. This Holy family usually, once in a year they remember the Holy family as a model for all the families. Of course, though  we say the model for all the Christian families, it is extremely difficult to say that they are the models because we cannot imitate them at all, if every husband imitates St. Joseph there will be no children since Joseph did not have a child. The Blessed Virgin Mary, is there anyone who can imitate her? She bore a child through the Holy Spirit, how many mothers today can have children through the Holy Spirit it is impossible to imitate the Blessed Virgin. She was born immaculate; we do not have immaculate mothers all through the world.  And thirdly Jesus, a God man. We cannot imitate the God man as such. Therefore, Holy family is not exactly a role model for all the families in the world rather a family that we can admire as role models in a different sense. In a certain sense our admiration should help us to follow in their footsteps. Let us reflect in what way they become role models for us as individuals and as a family.

They can be models because they lived a very deep faith in God. When Mary was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit Joseph was simply speechless, confused , he could not understand what is happening to this girl who is only betrothed to him , not yet  married. Joseph is a model to men in the way he handled the situation. Instead of reacting immediately he started reflecting what is happening to this girl instead of being rude or cruel with Mary. We find in the Gospel of Mathew that God spoke to him through his dreams knowing his confusion. People may not accept today about dreams. Today in the   Freudian Psychology or the modern   Psychology people try to interpret dreams as what is happening to a person in the sleep, leave alone all those Floridian interpretation of dreams. But in the Bible, we know that dreams can be a powerful means for God to communicate to humans. God communicates to human beings through the nature, through the intellect and dreams was used by God to communicate certain messages to his chosen people. In the Old Testament we find the famous man called Joseph, the son of Jacob. While he was living with the family he had dreams , he has dreams of the stars, he said there were many stars and all those stars started worshiping the star which is his and one day it became a prediction, the prediction about his eleven brothers  coming to him to begging for Food.

In the Old Testament the story of Joseph, Joseph is a kind of dreamer even as he was a young boy along with his companions or in other words his siblings, he used to have lot of dreams. He used to narrate those dreams to his parents and his siblings and they used to feel very jealous of him. But ultimately we know the story of Joseph, God spoke through dreams to him. Similarly when he was put in the jail in Egypt, he used to interpret the dreams of others, and as he interprets the dreams things happened.

Now therefore the dreams what we talk about in the old testament is not exactly interpreted today in the Freudian psychology sense leave that alone but in the bible we find similar to the old testament Joseph the new Testament Joseph, the husband of Blessed Virgin Mary also had dreams and God spoke to him or rather communicated to him through dreams and even today there are many divine communications taking place to people through dreams so therefore it is nothing impossible with God. God can communicate to human people like that so God communicated to him saying that his wife Mary became pregnant through the power of God. Joseph with all his simplicity and with his deep faith in God accepted the Virgin Mother as his wife, and he was a real protection to her, in that way we can say that he is a model for us, namely, at a time when you get confused, listen to God, God will guide you and speak to you. So in a way Joseph is a man of deep faith, a man who was listening to the voice of God. In that way he was a family man and he is a model for us today.

Secondly Joseph is another model because he is a worker, he is a carpenter, a carpenter is not a beggar he worked and he protected the family. In that way Jesus imitates his father so Joseph in a way is a model for Jesus himself, Jesus was later known as the carpenter’s son. That means he learnt carpentry from Joseph and as a human being he supported a family by his work. And then Blessed Virgin again similarly is a model in this way it is not an ordinary thing to say that I am the handmaid of the Lord, that your word be done to me when angel Gabriel spoke to her that ‘you will become pregnant’, ‘you will conceive the Word’ it is not a thing anybody can easily understand. In a very simple way it is narrated in the Gospel of St. Luke that Angel Gabriel appeared to her and explained to her nothing is impossible to God, God’s Word will be conceived in your womb. Again here what we find here is the faith of a virgin, a very simple girl and that becomes a model for us.

Thirdly, Jesus himself, God who became man is a model for others in this way, he became obedient to the parents and Gospel of Luke again narrates about his attachment to parents, he was obedient to them, he grew up under their protection, he became acceptable to people before God, before society in that way today’s message of the Holy Family is a message to all the families in the world. At a time when in the world today the family life breaks down so much, people get married and in a very short time they get divorced or they get separated, people cheat each other. The boy or the girl they get married but very soon they come to know they cheat each other people live simply selfishness, selfishness becomes a common phenomenon in the family life. The husband cheats the wife and the wife cheats the husband and the parents tell lies to the children and children telling lies to the parents, how can there be a family life together? Today we are taking the holy Family they are ultimately a model for faith, faith in God and trusting God’s power and certain simplicity and sincerity will make you happy. A happy family life is not simply money, money is definitely needed, money is needed not simply borrowing, I don’t know whether Joseph was that type of a man, Joseph was a worker. Therefore in a family two important things: one is work, the other is deep faith in God. And these put together will make your family happy.

The husband should work and earn his livelihood and put together people should have faith in God and faith in work too, therefore in one way I should put it work and worship go together, a person should believe in God and therefore worshipping and you should work that means you believe in yourself. Your work certain sign of your self confidence, your worship is confidence in God. So work and worship put together will make your family happy. Any person who is not working becomes lazy, he cannot achieve anything in the world, he cannot make his family happy. Similarly, a person who simply goes on working, you suffer ultimately work stress. Take your time for God. Definitely give time for your work also give time for God as our Lord said one day “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God”.

Therefore I should say human life has got two sides of a coin. One side of the coin is work and the other side is worship both together will make your family happy so today Holy Family life is that. So let it be a beginning for us. The Holy Family where work and worship go together makes the family happy. So today if the whole world, all the families can imitate this Holy Family namely, the work- work for your family, self-confidence and God himself has given this injunction to people namely ‘multiply’ work. The other thing is, think of God, worship Him and adore Him. And therefore put together work and worship together, family life becomes a happy one. Not only in the family even individually can you be happy.

 By Rev.Fr.V.Ignatius S.J