Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 62 – Feast of the Holy Family

The Example of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

On this day when we honor the Holy Family, we might be temped to merely look at Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as a unique group in history to be admired but not much else. Yet, the Church never holds up saints or anything holy merely to be looked at like a museum piece. Rather, the saints show us what we are capable of and inspire us to imitate their holiness. Our families are called to be “holy families” too!

This may at first seem like a rather difficult task to imitate the Holy Family. They seem so unique. If we look closely though, we see that they had their difficulties and struggles just like any family. Mary and Joseph were real parents who had to take care of and raise little Jesus. Jesus, we are told, had to learn and grow in wisdom and knowledge. Today we read how the young boy Jesus got lost. Although the Holy Family was indeed given special graces for their special mission, much of their life was not so different from ours.

God has chosen to use the family as his special means to bring about the salvation of the world. He chose to be born into a family. He has given us our families, with all their imperfections, to be our means to salvation as well. There is a special blessing in the fact that we don’t choose our families. We can plan out our lives all we want but, in this most important area of family, it’s up to God. Parents don’t choose their kids and kids don’t choose their parents. We’re stuck with each other. Yet, if we really stop an think about it, we probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Our family may not be perfect, but it is our family. Our family is God’s gift to us to show us his love and today we ask him to help make us a little more holy, like Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

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