“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17)
The pattern of order for Christian society is built on God’s intended order within a Christian family. We are ordered by God’s Word, ordered toward God in gratitude for the gifts we have received--the gifts we are to each other in God’s love, and ordered to service of each other in the name of the Lord Jesus.
When our families are ordered in love, we have peace and joy. I know that for many of us the natural state of our family is not peaceful or joyful. We experience continuing hurt from old wounds, we suffer division and separation from one another because of our sins. We fall short of the ideal set by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
The good news is that we don’t have to give up on our ideals just because our reality is imperfect. We can strive for peace and joy even in the midst of sorrow and strife. Each time we turn to God in prayer, as individuals and as families, we make our world better. Each time we reach out to heaven for help with our earthly cares, we are transformed by God’s grace. Each time we come to the Eucharist, we are nourished and strengthened by God. We can bring the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation back with us to our families and pass on the forgiveness we have received from Christ Jesus. We can look to the example of the saints and strive to imitate them and change our behavior for the better. When we look up, we lift each other up. By raising our loved ones to God in prayer we bring them closer to Him.
May this feast of the Holy Family inspire us to strive for holiness in our families; let us consecrate our families to God and make our homes healthy, holy, and joyful in Christ Jesus.