Feast of the Holy Family

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When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.

Matthew 1:24a

What can you learn from Mary, Joseph, and Jesus that will help you to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, sister, or brother?

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Going Deeper

Read today’s Gospel, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23.

As family life goes, it might seem like Joseph had it pretty easy. After all, how many of us can say that our spouses and children are sinless? While I’m sure discipline wasn’t a major problem in the home of the Holy Family, Joseph’s life wasn’t without its challenges.

How would you react if your fiancé came to you to say she was pregnant–with someone else’s baby? It took a lot of faith for Joseph to trust Mary and the angel’s message, and take Mary as his wife.

Then, just as he was getting his new family established, he had to uproot them and move to a different country. While the move was necessary to keep them safe, I’m sure it wasn’t easy to find a good place to live and rebuild his carpentry business in Egypt. The news that he could safely return to his home country must have been met with mixed emotions—excitement about returning to home and family, but trepidation about the work of moving and getting re-established in another new community.

Can you imagine the panic and desperation Mary and Joseph felt when they realized, on the way home from Jerusalem, that Jesus was not with the party? And the sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs as their search for the child, Jesus, stretched from hours into days? (A similar event occurred in our family, when the van left the campground while one child was still in the restroom. Road trips now begin with the kids calling out “No child left behind!”)

The early years of the Holy Family were definitely not easy ones! But we don’t see Joseph questioning or complaining. He doesn’t ask for proof of Mary’s faithfulness or the potential threat to his child’s life. He has great faith in God’s messages, communicated through angels.

Listen to Joseph’s Song as you reflect on Joseph’s great faith.

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