Feast Of The Holy Family

There’s a pretty famous quote out there, which says, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” To some extent, I agree with this sentiment. We’re born into a family with all its joys and challenges. Parents, aunts, uncles, siblings—these are all people that make up our family and are, by blood, part of our family—whether we like it or not. To a greater extent though, I disagree with this statement. The psalm and second reading for today were proclaimed at my wedding, and on that day I chose my husband, and we became our own little family.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, and hereto we see a chosen family. Mary chose to say yes to welcoming the Savior of the World. Joseph chose to say yes to Mary and the responsibility of helping raise Emmanuel—God with us. Together they chose to say yes to God’s plan, and as such, we celebrate them and their family some 2,000 years later. 

One of the things I love about the way in which God brought about our salvation is how full of humanity it is.  Jesus, fully God and fully human, is obviously the central part of the story. But look at how many humans Jesus is surrounded by! Time and time again, we hear in scripture about people choosing to say yes—to do their part to bring Jesus to others.

If we take the time to reflect on Jesus’ infancy and childhood, it’s easy to realize there were more than just those recorded in scripture. Think of all the people who must have helped Mary and Joseph: the women who would have helped Mary through childbirth, the people who welcomed them in Nazareth. Think of the friends Jesus must have played with as a kid and the rabbis who taught him about their Jewish faith. 

The vast majority of Jesus’ years on earth are not recorded in scripture. Time and time again, Mary and Joseph said “yes” to God’s plan for their family, and most of it isn’t “noteworthy” enough to make it into scripture. Imagine how many scrapes Mary cleaned, the number of meals she prepared. The time Joseph spent playing with Jesus as a kid and the time he took teaching Jesus his trade. Think of the prayers prayed as a family and the quiet moments before bed. Think how many times Jesus must have been told he was loved before anyone else knew who he was. 

Much of what we do in this world is probably not considered noteworthy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a place where we can say “yes” to God and His plan for our lives.  God wants to bring Jesus to others through us, not by actually raising the son of God, as Mary and Joseph did, but through our daily actions and the ways we love each other.  Your small “yesses” may not seem significant, but God can use even the smallest “yes” to make his Son present to others.  

May we choose to say yes—to do our part to bring Jesus to others.



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