The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Tragedy and disappointment are inevitable. What sees you through this? There will be challenges,
changes, unexpected circumstances, interrupted plans, hurts, and injustices experienced by every human being at some point in their lives. We will be asked to adjust our plans, change course, and even encounter suffering and death. Where do we learn all of the lessons we need to live life well? Some of them we learn along the way but much of what we bring to life, positive and negative, comes from our early beginnings, our families. This is our early world and provides the blueprint for how we see the bigger, more inclusive world, which unfolds before us.
Our families of origin can be sources of grace, heartache or a combination of both. Families are intended to be pivotal in providing us with proper social structure and understanding, a support system, lessons about relationships and communication, and the unconditional acceptance and love we so desperately crave. They can also determine whether we have an accessible and healthy relationship with God. Many of life’s challenges can literally bring us to our knees and require that we possess a strength of character that resides well beyond the superficialities of our
world. At some point we will all need three coping gifts that can be given to us only by God: faith, hope, and love. Our families help us learn that we are not the ones responsible for their creation, but God!
Our experience of early family life colors all of our relationships and what we expect to achieve from life in general. Resolving conflicts, dealing with difficulty and suffering, celebrating accomplishments, prioritizing our needs, listening to God’s call, understanding relationships, understanding disappointment, learning about the virtues an living a centered focused life are all lessons our families either succeed in teaching or do not. To succeed, as God has designed and ordered our world, is to discover his presence and then trust that Presence. The Holy Family can teach even the most dysfunctional family how to best use God’s gifts of faith, hope, and love to find him and do his will. Their simple humble example is always before us, showing us the way. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!