Homily Feast of the Holy Family God is the foundation of family

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Homily Feast of the Holy Family

Reading 1: What is the key phrase? Why should parents be obeyed, respected and cared for? “God sets a Father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms.” It is God who is the source of their role and person as father and mother. So the honor and respect we give to our parents is given to God and vice versa the dishonor or disrespect is given to God.

The same is true for children. They come from God who gives them life through the love of their parents. What is done to them by their parents is done to God.

How do we honor our parents? We recognize them with gratitude, knowing that they are no more perfect than we are and are on the same journey as we. Likewise we are to take care of them in their ole age as they cared for us when we were helpless and totally dependent. Underlying this honor and respect and care is love. Whether we experienced their love or not, we are called to love them as God has loved us.

Our actions have consequences. How have we honored our parents? How have we not honored our parents? How have we treated and cared for our children? How have we wronged them?

Reading 2: Life within a family has its own trials and difficulties as well as joys and good memories. Marriage and family are more than natural relationships. They are spiritual ones as well. Our life as members of the family should be govern by certain virtues and way of treating one another.

Paul gives us some of these virtues we need to incorporate in our family relationship. It starts with parents modeling for their children. The first thing Paul tells us is that each, member of the family is chosen by God. We are called by virtue of baptism to be holy and full of love. As a result, our relationship as a family is to be founded on compassion that comes from the heart, kindness to one another, humility, gentleness and patience.

These are there to the extent that forgiveness is there, because we will hurt each other intentionally and unintentionally. So we must have a forgiving attitude. Remember God has forgiven us for far greater sins than others have done against us.

But what gives these virtues purpose is love. So the bottom line is this: Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of Jesus in thanksgiving to the Father.

Gospel: Jesus teaches us the importance of realizing our relationship with God, the Father and our parents. He says that while respecting and honoring our parents we must remember our first priority is obedience to God. There is no contradiction between the two.

Jesus is about twelve years old; he has just went through the Bar Mitzvah ceremony that each Jewish boy had to do to be able to sit with the men and not with the children. He had to show that he knew the basic tenets of the Jewish Law.

As an infant he was circumcised and covenanted with God as his son. In his Bar Mitzvah, he had to show ownership of his faith and that he wants to continue to grow and defend his relationship with God. Though he is a son of Mary and foster son of Joseph, two human beings, he was primarily a son of God.

Whether he was aware yet of his own divinity is not clear, but he is aware of his special relationship with God, calling him Father. Acknowledging this, he continues to be obedient to Mary and Joseph. As a result of this double relationship, he grew in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

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