Sunday, December 30, 2018
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph-C
1 John 3: 1-2, 21-24
Luke 2: 41-52
An artist wanted to paint the most beautiful picture in the world. So he asked a priest, “What do you think is the most beautiful thing in the world?” The priest answered, “Faith. When I see faith in the lives of the old and the young – to me, that is the most beautiful thing in the world.”
He asked a newly-married woman what she thought was the most beautiful thing, and she said, “Love. Love can change poverty into riches and can make tears a little softer. Love is the most beautiful thing in the world.”
He asked a soldier the same questions, and the soldier answered, “Peace. War is the ugliest thing in the world, and peace is the most beautiful.”
The artist was trying to figure out how to put these three ideas together in a painting. When he got home, he looked into the eyes of his children, and he saw faith. He looked into the eyes of his wife, and he saw love. And he looked at his family gathered together in the living room and he saw the peace that faith and love had brought about.
And now he had the subject matter for his painting of the most beautiful thing in the world. And when he finished it, he entitled it, “Home.”
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. And in their family life, there was faith, love and peace because Jesus was with them.
The Holy Family – just because they were “holy” – was not exempt from suffering and hardship, from worry and fear, or from so many of the troubles that you and I go through. Look at the anxiety of Mary and Joseph as they searched for three days for the twelve-year-old Jesus and found Him, at last, teaching in the temple, His Father’s house.
But Mary and Joseph always remembered – no matter what was going on around them – that Jesus was with them. And so there was faith, love and peace in their home life. And through their prayers and example, we cultivate faith, love and peace in our home lives as well.
In your own home and family life, is faith evident? Being faithful to Sunday Mass and daily prayer, celebrating the sacraments and reading the Bible?
Is there an atmosphere of love in your home where people affirm each other readily, being quick to point out what is good and being slow to offer criticism? Are you easy to live with and to be around?
And peace – is there forgiveness rather than brooding over past hurts where you live? Are you known as a peace-maker? Is your home a little more peaceful because you are in the room?
Faith, love and peace – three ingredients of a holy family. And through the prayers and example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may these same ingredients be found in our homes and family life this New Year.