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Feast of the Holy Family Mt 2/13-15, 19-23

Catholic Homilies
December 30th, 2001

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Feast of the Holy Family Mt 2/13-15, 19-23


As was said last week, the Christmas stories might not be true in all their details but they are True in the sense that they represent a very special intervention of God in the human condition, a revolution indeed because it revealed to us just how much God loves us, one that, as G.K. Chesterton said, turned the world upside down and, astonishingly, when viewed from that perspective the world made sense. God, in the words of the Irish Dominican poet, Paul Murray, loves us so much that if we should cease to exist, he would die of sadness. The Christmas stories reveal to us that God loved Her human children so much that He took on human form so that he could show us how to live and how to die, even walking with us down to the valley of death itself. The stories today tell us that even from the beginning it was not easy to be the special light of the world. Jesus was under threat all his life. The threats would finally catch up with Him as they catch up with all of us. But from Christmas we learn that finally the darkness can never put out the light.

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Once upon a time, not so very long ago, the members of a family gathered from various places around the country to celebrate the Christmas season with their parents and those siblings who remained in the city where the parents lived. Now, as is often the case, a time that was meant to celebrate the joy of family bounds rather quickly turned into a time of too much family togetherness. This was especially true with the parents of the various preschoolers when certain of the children thought that every toy in the house was theirs to play with and in some instances destroy. The parents of the culprits became irate when the parents of the owners of the toys chastised their niece and nephew. As the irritation factor continued to rise, the Grandparents were unsure how to respond. Fortunately, the unmarried brother and sister sensed the problem and offered to take their nieces and nephews to the opening of the new holiday blockbuster. Once peace settled on the household, the two sets of warring parents quickly realized they had overreacted. When the crowd returned from the movie, both sets of parents rather sheepishly thanked their siblings for their baby sitting services. Dinner that evening was a real celebration!

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Dinner that evening was a real celebration!

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