Feast of the Holy Family | iPray with the Gospel
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple… And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man.
Jesus planned our Redemption from all eternity. To bring about the forgiveness of our sins and make us children of God He charted a course of action. He decided that 33 years would do; and that of these, 30 years would be for family life and work in a workshop; He would spend 3 years going around Judea and Galilee preaching and healing; He would hang on the Cross for 3 hours and after 3 days He would rise from the dead. Do you see the picture? Jesus wanted to come into the world without being noticed, without a house, without money, without a cradle, without possessions… but not without a family, a Holy Family. He didn’t want us to be left without that Holy Family either and now Mary is our Mother, Joseph our father, Jesus our Brother and we… the privileged members of the Family of Nazareth.
Today’s Gospel tells us about a painful experience for Mary and Joseph: the loss of Jesus. Families exist so that joys and sorrows can be shared, so that my joy can also be others’ joy and my sufferings would never only be mine. Today the family is the main aim of the enemy, because he knows, as St John Paul II said that ‘as the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.‘ Mary, Queen of the Family, St Joseph, my father and lord, pray for our families today.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).