Several years ago, I felt impatience at Holy Family Sunday along the lines of: “Isn’t this overdoing the obvious?” Today, with the attempt to make the traditional family of father, mother, child(ren) to be not the norm, a Sunday focusing on the Holy Family is a good idea.
Family life is the quinessential description of relationships. Think of all the everyday expressions we use: a mother’s love, like a father to me, like a brother, like a sister. It is family in which we learn to work and play together, to talk out a difficulty, to “be there” in tough times, and to rejoice in celebrations.
Granted, families can also be a cause of pain. That it’s family can in itself make matters more painful. Whether painful or nurturing, our family shapes our understanding of God.
More importantly, whatever our family experience is, the Holy Family brings us closer to God: Jesus, God-became-man who went to Nazareth and “was obedient to them (Mary and Joseph);” Mary, whose fiat, “May it be done to me according to your word” made the Incarnation possible and from whom Jesus took his flesh; and Joseph, who protected the family God entrusted to him.
In the midst of the bustle of family life and in the quiet of those away from family, it’s good to have a day focused on the Holy Family.