Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.
My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.
Today, December 30, is the Feast of the Holy Family.
Just a quick reflection today. The family is the central community of every society. No society can last long with the breakdown of the family, or if the family is not honored or respected. God chose to become man and to enter into history by way of a family.
Today, we know that the family is under attack by social and cultural movements that disregard the need for a family, especially the need for fathers. We think we know better than what God and multiple millennia have taught us, and that we can survive and even thrive without a strong family structure holding our society together. We are wrong. We are courting disaster and are already seeing the consequences of our choice to dismiss the family as an archetype of a time gone by.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph form the family par excellence: the family entirely dedicated to God and to following His will. We would do well to follow their example.
Pray for your family. Pray for all families. Pray for the family of humankind. May God, in His mercy, grant us strong families and the conversion of our society and our culture to appreciate anew the rich and needful foundation of family life.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.