christmas and the family reunion
"Over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection." —Colossians 3:14
Holy Family Sunday can be depressing for people whose families are anything but holy. Christmas can be depressing for people whose families are broken, alienated, hurt, fearful, unforgiving, or bitter. Nevertheless, today's Christmas celebration of holiness and family is a sign of hope.
The Lord will keep His promises to our families. He wants all in our families to be saved (see 1 Tm 2:4), that is, forgiven, freed, and holy. Although we do not have to accept His grace, His infinite and unconditional love is so strong that even the most hardened sinners continue to surrender their lives to the Lord. Consequently, with hopeful confidence:
- Forgive by God's grace and God's standards (see Col 3:13).
- "Honor your father and your mother" (Ex 20:12; see Sir 3:2ff).
- Serve your brothers and sisters.
- "Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord" (Col 3:18).
- "Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them" (Col 3:19).
- "Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged" (Col 3:21).
Let each of us be the first or next in the family to be holy. Other family members will follow. Then, we will all die or meet Jesus returning to earth. Finally, we will have a great family reunion in heaven, and, if the Lord has His way, not one member of our family will be missing.
Prayer: Father, by the graces from this Christmas, make my family holy in every aspect of its conduct (see 1 Pt 1:15).
Promise: "Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your word, for my eyes have seen Your Salvation." —Lk 2:29-30
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Holy One, risen Lord of all families!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002