Before time began, the Trinity was the primordial family in perfect love. From the outpouring of their charity with one another the first human family was born. Far from being perfect because of human frailty, infidelity, greed and anger the once happy family was destroyed and fell. But God did not give up and promised to re-create a new family that would mirror the family of the Trinity once again. God conceived this “dream family” for a long time through a people He had chosen to be His own. This came about when the Church was born out of the pain and suffering of Jesus beneath the cross. The Church becomes the new family of God with Jesus as our head. It is through the Church that God continues to give birth to His children on earth in the context of the Christian family which is called the “domestic church”.
The family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus is the ideal family; they are called the Holy Family not just because they were good people but because Jesus was the centre of their lives. Like any other ordinary family, they also experienced the hardships, anxieties, rejection, suffering, tragedies, loss of loved ones and other problems that we experience within our families. Their lives were not at all roses in bed; humans as they were, most of the times they did not even understand why strange things were happening to them. They were as ordinary as we are now but because of the presence of Jesus in their midst, they had a different way of looking at things.
Under normal circumstances, each one of us was born in a family hence belonging to a household. It is through this family that we experience love by loving and being loved. Since I was a young boy and being the youngest in the family, I felt tremendously loved by my parents and my siblings. Later on, I realized that God was loving me through the love I experienced at home It was through my family that I first encountered God and felt His presence through the people around me at home.
Because of our human weaknesses, our families are far from the ideal. Just like the first family of Adam and Eve, our families have our own share of frailties that make us vulnerable to faults and inadequacies. Some of us come from broken homes, others are victims of misfortunes that continue to beset our families; we also have skeletons in the closets and dark secrets of our parents and ancestors. But in the midst of all these grim realities is the hope that out from the ashes we rise to face life with its bright promises and our eagerness to find happiness. Our faith makes the difference, knowing that life is beautiful because of the silent presence of Jesus in our lives in spite of our gloomy past. He is the beacon light of our families when tragedies strike us and everything is dark…
It is through the Church that we manifest the reality of the family of the Trinity in our world today. When we come together as a Church to celebrate the Eucharist, we gather in the altar of the flesh and blood of Jesus just as we gather as a family to partake our meal in our homes. To those who do not believe in God or have lost their faith in God or question the presence of God, we say that God is alive and kicking within us when we love Him, our family and each other.
One day we will all be gathered as one Family of God when we see each other together in the womb of God.