The Sacredness of the Holy Family

Week of December 27, 2015

There has never been a greater time for us to become more aware of the sacredness of family.  It is the dwelling place of holiness and yet for many, homes are filled with brokenness, exhaustion and so little time all together.  On this weekend we take the time to remind ourselves of the sacredness of traditions and the need for family values.  At the root of every family is communication.  It is the understanding of parents communicating honestly and freely that help spread the holiness of what a family is called to become.

At our house in Berwyn my dad had a work bench in the basement, a place that today we would refer to as a “man cave”.  It was a place for him to listen to the radio, plan things for the Boy Scouts where he was a volunteer leader and research the many projects around the house that needed attention.  My mom was always in the kitchen.  From ironing clothes to making meals for very hungry children, her place was in that small room where everyone and everything passed through.  When we really wanted something, and especially when we wanted to bend the rules or get an interpretation on things or go somewhere that was out of the ordinary, my mom who filtered all the questions would first send us to our dad. We would run down the stairs, truly believing we would get an affirmative answer.  We would then present our case before the work bench and dad would ask us, “What did your mother say?”  And the game would begin.  They would have us ask questions of each of them while running up and down the stairs.  All along they knew and trusted each other as to what the answer would be.  I am sure at night before they went to bed and after they had prayed the Rosary they had a good laugh at how many times they had us running up and down the stairs.  Communication and trust were the key to their love.

Mary and Joseph both trusted in the divine interventions in their lives.  When angels came to them, they listened and followed.  They realized a great gift and burden had been given to them.  They realized that their call was to change the world.  In the prayer over the offerings used this day from the Roman Missal, we pray, “Through the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and St. Joseph that you may establish our families firmly in your grace and your peace.”

God longs for our families to be filled with grace.  God longs for there to be peace within our homes.  May this day find us realizing the goodness within our families, not looking at what they are not or how they are lacking, but as a place where God establishes His grace for all of us to experience.

Rev. John J. Ouper