Today, a day after we celebrated Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family.
We all know that before the beginning of time, the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, was the “primordial family”. They were a perfect family where love was the bond in a fellowship of charity. This charity overflowed through the creation of the human family. Adam and Eve were the first family of God. Everything was just so perfect until the devil came into the scene. The devil who was alone and will never have a family of his own because of the absence of love and charity, did everything to destroy the first family of God. Yet God made a promise to create the new family of God through the Messiah.
When Jesus was born, he did not just become a member of the human family but a member of a particular family of Joseph and Mary. We call them the Holy Family. They were holy not just because Mary and Joseph were holy people, their family was holy because of the presence of Jesus. Jesus was the center of their family. The family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary becomes the icon of every human family because it mirrores the family of the Most Holy Trinity where there is love and an overflow of charity.
But like any other human family, the family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary experienced the lights and shadows of life: joys, pains, sufferings, temptations, hunger and other struggles just like anyone else’s. In fact in our gospel today, we see the Holy Family besieged by evil through King Herod who wanted to kill the child. Joseph was told by an angel in a dream to flee to Egypt to save the child. This is not just an historical event but a symbolical reality of the devil wanting to destroy the sense of the sacred in the human family. The devil will do everything to destroy our families. Why? Because the family is the “domestic church”. It is the microcosm of the Church, of the Mystical Body of Christ. It is through the Church that the blessing of God will overflow into the world. And since the devil cannot destroy the Church as a whole, his “modus operandi” is the destruction of the Church by destroying the families.
Let us take a look at our families. Let us ask ourselves if Jesus is really the center of our families? Let us see how the devil makes use of “modus operandi” in destroying our families. The many forms of addictions are the new labels of tools being used by the devil to cut through and divide our families. Addiction of drugs, alcohol, prostitution, pornography, the use of the contraceptive methods and many others: when any of these addictions enter into our families, we see the destruction of our values and little by little our families are destroyed.
I have seen many families who became vulnerable, being eaten up by the fire they have made which is beyond their control. Every single family that is destroyed is a trophy for the devil.
We have to admit that our families are susceptible to all the evil influences of the world. That is why there is a need for us to protect our families from everything that harm us. We need to strengthen our family value system through good education , evangelization and good witnessing. We need to frequent the reception of the sacraments to strengthen us in our weakness and vulnerability. We need to gather always in the celebration of the Eucharist where our families are nourished by the Word of God and the Flesh and Blood of Jesus.
We say that that there is no perfect family. Each of our families have skeletons in the closet and secrets we keep from the public. Yet we continue to hope that despite the darkness and shadows of our homes, we have Jesus as the center of our families; Jesus is our light and life.