Ever since I can remember, I have been enamored by the story of the Holy Family. As a child, I always wondered what having a mom like Mary must have been like. Would she have sent Jesus up to his room for punishment as my mother so often seemed to do? As I grew older, I became fixated by countless images of the Holy Family, especially those portraying Joseph as protector and guardian of this innocent and most pure group.
On today's feast, I'm brought to compare my family dynamic with that of the Holy Family. Being so far from home, the holidays have always been a cherished time to reconnect, especially with my immediate family. This year, we decided to go on a mini road trip which meant long car rides and quality time with each other. It has been a joy to be with them, but at the same time, old habits and wounds have found their way back in. Distance can make the heart grow fonder just as proximity can reveal those creeping annoyances and frustrations that I thought I had let go.
As I stop to pray over today's readings, they are an especially fitting reminder to me of the need to love. To love my parents, even when they say just the right thing to unnerve me. To love my sister, even when her personality and temperament conflicts with mine. I can only throw out a guess here, but I'm sure that the Holy Family didn't always find it so easy to always be "holy."
In the craziness of the holidays and time reuniting with old friends and family members, do you find these readings striking a chord with you as well?
Reflected by Regina Galassi