Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: A Family Growing in Love

"Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another." – Colossians 3:12-13

This year we failed at getting our Christmas lights up on the house and I only decorated the tree the day before we planned to leave to visit out of town family. In many respects, we “failed” at our son’s first Christmas. Yet, when I look back on the past 8 days, I notice the people our son has spent time with. He has seen nearly every significant person in his life through traveling and coordinating of schedules across families.

He also celebrated his first Christmas with the families at Dolores Mission Parish in Boyle Heights. Our young adults adopted three families this year with gifts and necessities for Christmas. At the brunch where we presented the gifts, my son and one of the little boys we sponsored shared a bowl of dry cereal, taking turns picking up pieces and eating. They ate together, patiently giving each other a turn, locking eyes, and then laughing. This bowl of cereal became an opportunity to bridge, to share, and to build community.

When we got married two years ago, my husband and I specifically chose today (the Feast of the Holy Family) for our wedding day. When we welcomed our son nine months ago, the images of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus (a family growing together in love) took on even more significance. Long before Jesus began his active ministry, he was a member of a family. He learned “compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience” from his relationships with his parents, cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

I hope that these moments with family and friends, including the community at Dolores Mission, will form my son in compassion and mercy. I hope to continue to direct his natural joyfulness towards building community and sharing the joy of God’s presence with others. Despite our limitations in so many other ways, I cannot think of a better foundation to set on his first Christmas.

Reflected by Jen Coito

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