Weekly Message 12/28/14

December 27‐28, 2014
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Sirach 3:2‐14 Colossians 3:12‐17 Matthew 2:13‐23
Ahhhhh….FAMILY. In the best of worlds our families are supportive, caring and safe havens in which we can grow and develop our sense of purpose and direction. In the less than perfect circumstances there are hurts and wounds inflicted upon family members by other familial partners. The illusive image of FAMILY comprising a mom, dad and one, two or more kids (along with perhaps grandparents, uncles/aunts and assorted cousins) nowadays needs to be expanded to be understood in a vastly different context. While there are certainly still family portraits of first‐time mom, dad and kids, the BIGGER portrait of FAMILY also includes divorced and remarried couples, blended families of kids from both sides, gay and lesbian couples…some with kids/some without, grandparents raising grandkids, single parents raising children, the images are many and each unique. What defines these FAMILIES are the commitments they make to one another, the selflessness and support they give to their members and the willingness to face the joys and hardships of life together. Stripped of the romanticized emotions that are evoked in Holy Card images of Jesus, Mary and Joseph…let's not forget the trials and crisis they weathered: unmarried teenage Mary found to be pregnant, her fiancée Joseph decides to DIVORCE her rather than allow her to be stoned to death (as the law would have allowed, through the promptings of grace Joseph changes his mind and accepts Mary, along with Jesus…who becomes his ADOPTED son, family has to move frequently to avoid persecution…and then Mary has to watch her son be tortured and killed. Hardly a PERFECT image…and in this is a life lesson….FAMILY is whatever works, not one image fits all. All of us were born into a genetic relationship of those who participated in our creation. SOMETIMES this will comprise our FAMILY in which we grow and thrive. SOMETIMES, despite our genetic relationships, our TRUE FAMILY must be sought, found and forged with experiences that build trust and
understanding in order to become the foundation upon which we live life. Who is YOUR family? What are the defining characteristics by which you have built your relationships with one another. What are the give and take you accept in having them as your family….and what have been the lines crossed that caused breaks and divisions? Finally, however you describe or define YOUR network of people who comprise your family….remember…GRACE is not bestowed upon only one image of family…but rather, GRACE and HOLINESS dwells wherever and however people bind their lives together in love and support.