The Feast of the Holy Family is on Dec. 31 this year. Our Hebrew Scripture reading lifts up Abraham, willing to offer his only son Isaac to God, while our Gospel describes the parents of Jesus presenting him to the Lord in the temple in Jerusalem. This feast day was placed in our liturgical calendar around 1921, when the popes became concerned about the weakening of family life. Almost a century later, Pope Francis and the world bishops are still concerned, even alarmed, about the spiritual health of families. A clue to family health may be in our scriptural examples. Children don’t belong to parents, as bragging rights, people who will continue the family name, bring honor to their parents, run the family business, etc. Families need to face outward, toward the Lord, and not build a domestic nest that closes out others. Families need to become generative agents of change in society. These are some of Pope Francis’ concerns. Jesus is to be a light to the Gentiles, Simeon tells Mary and Joseph, not an in-house Jewish rabbi. Because he stepped out beyond his Jewish family to do that, we are here today as his spiritual descendants. This week, thank God for generative families you know, hopefully some among your own kin!
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia