by Sister Laura Zelten
Today's Feast of the Holy Family invites us to consider how the mystery of the Incarnation, of God being flesh in Jesus, has something special to say to families. Jesus grew up in a family. In becoming part of the human family, Jesus reveals his Father's love for the whole human family.
The Gospel reading provides us with the only glimpse we have into the early years of Jesus. We see the gracious care in the worry of parents who could not find their son. We hear it in Mary's anxious words to Jesus. We see it in Jesus' fidelity to his parents and in the simple statement that "he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them." (Luke 2:44-51)
As members of the human family, imperfect and even sinful, we
too are graced with a capacity for
"advancing in wisdom and age and favor before God and one another" (Luke 2:52). Each of us is called to holiness, to a fullness of being made possible by being open to the loving touch of God's grace made visible in the Incarnation.
chapter 6, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Mary Kabat
As individuals and as a society we struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. We know it within ourselves. We see it in the lives of loved ones, neighbors, and people we read or hear about in the news every day. Left to ourselves, we can not overcome the tendency to selfishness or evil in us or around us. Jesus came to heal us and free us to live fully for and with God, to live in harmony with others and with all of creation.
Look in the mirror and see the person created in God's image. Look into the eyes of another and see the person created in God's image. No matter how strong the present or ongoing struggle with original or actual sin, from our conception we were created in God's image. Turn to Jesus, the source of help and hope in the daily struggle to be persons of love, living in peace with ourselves and others, and living in harmony with all creation.