Today’s Thoughts: As we celebrate this Sunday between Christmas and the New Year we do so by honoring the gift of family, specifically the gift of the Holy Family. When we honor the Holy Family, we honor all families.
I have used this image and story before but as I reflected on our readings during this past week a favorite fictional character from TV came to mind. The character, Special Agent, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, from the show NCIS. During an episode years ago part of the story line was Abby’s struggle with family. She found out that she was adopted. In a very touching scene she goes to Gibbs and says that she doesn't know who she is now, and Gibbs' reply goes something like this, "Abby, family is more than science and DNA, family is about the people who care about you and you have a lot of people who care right here." To me it was a touching scene that reflected some of Gibbs' best wisdom but also it reflects the focus of our feast today.
We might look at the Holy Family and say how can the Holy Family be an example of family life? They were the perfect family, how can a family in today’s world even begin to measure up to them? They were special people, blessed in a unique way by God. Jesus is the Son of God. Mary came into the world without sin. An angel came to both Joseph and Mary. How can any family ever measure up to the Holy Family? Well, in a word by caring!
Gibbs was right the basic value of family is that family cares no matter what, and it doesn’t always come from DNA. Haven’t there been times when you have considered a person family even though they didn’t have your DNA? You considered them family because in some way they were present to you when you needed them to be. They cared about you, about people in your life, about your family.
All the stories we find in the scriptures about the Holy Family like our Gospel today about the Holy Family fleeing for their very lives, becoming refugees in a strange land and finally returning home to start a new life, are about people who care for each other and for those around them. The gift of the Holy Family is the grace of caring. Perhaps our challenge today is to remember the people who care, those we are connected to us by DNA and those we are not – perhaps all of whom we can call family!
Have a blessed Feast of the Holy Family everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...