The Holy Family is even for unholy families too
If there are people I ache for especially, it is those people whose family has not been a source of love, but rather one of pain, abuse, and difficulty. While none of us come from a perfect family, sadly there are those who come not only from an imperfect family, but a downright harmful family.
And so I try to be sensitive to the reality that on certain days, or when the Church uses good and helpful images, on a day when we celebrate the Holy Family, it is still real that for too many, the family is a place of pain and not love.
How can we begin to move forward if our families were sources of abuse, pain and difficulty? I think the beginning of healing can happen when we recognize that the Holy Family is our sources of hope. We need to allow the Holy Family to embrace us in ways that should have been true for those who families did harm and inflicted pain.
We need to allow God the Father to help us to experience the love our own fathers may not have given us. We need to allow Mary, the Blessed Mother, to wrap us in the mantle of her love and care, helping us to receive what we did not from our own families.
And most of all, the Holy Family is most holy because of Jesus. The Trintiy is the perfect expression of community and family. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit not only are perfect love in themselves, but also pour forth that love upon us, especially in our brokenness.
So as we celebrate the Holy Family, and the Octave of Christmas, let us remember most of all that when the Word, Jesus, becomes flesh, and that through our baptisms, we are beloved sons and daughters of God. As such, even in our brokenness we are loved by God with love beyond all telling.
As we seek the grace that the Holy Family can give, and the help to our own families to become more holy, we ask God to help each of us to know of our high dignity as a son or daughter of God, to and be aware of the grace that helps us to treat others with that same dignity.
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