This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family as part of our ongoing Christmas celebration. This feast has been celebrated by the Church for about one hundred years. It is a devotional feast that was inaugurated by Holy Family associations. This has been a significant year for the family. In September the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia brought together with Pope Francis many who are concerned about family life in our world today. In October, in Rome, the second portion of the Synod on the Family was held.
Everything we know about the Holy Family, which is not much, comes from the Gospel accounts read during the Christmas season. It celebrates the unity and love evident in the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. This feast being a part of the Christmas season focuses not so much on the institution of the family as it does on the fact that Christ shared our life fully, including family life.
This is a day to celebrate Christ’s presence in our families. Every family is special to God. Every family receives God’s favor. We too pray that we may become more like the Holy Family as we gather to celebrate with family, friends and community this Christmas season.