Who is your family?

Guest blogger: Sister Sarah Hennessey

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.  We remember Jesus did not zoom into human existence in a space pod or appear on a mountaintop shining in gold. He came in family.  Mary is more than her “yes.”  She lived the daily joys and sorrows of family.  Joseph is more than worker or protector.  He lived the loves and hurts of family.

When we put up our nativity scenes, while Joseph, Mary and Jesus are at the center they are not alone.  Shepherds, sheep, cows, children, kings, and angels, complete the scene.  This too is a moment of family.

Our bus broke down on my 50 hour ride to Guadalajara.  A large group of strangers, we were stranded by the roadside for hours.  I remembered my guitar was in the luggage and suddenly our bus driver was serenading us with ranchero tunes and our bilingual group of strangers became united in song.  A moment of family.

One of my friends was getting on the bus to work when she realized she had lost her money.  The bus driver kicked her off.  A homeless man who was standing on the street saw her strife and gave her enough money to get to work.  A moment of family.

Last year when our town was hit by a flood, without even a plea for volunteers, people of all ages showed up to fill sand bags.  I was so glad when the whole hockey team appeared.  One man pulled up in his pickup to receive some bags and said, “I don’t know how to thank you.  You are saving my house.”  A moment of family.

Last month I went to a bowling alley for a benefit for a two year old in our parish who is fighting cancer.  As I was buying my ticket I noticed the t-shirts being worn by the volunteers.  All the women wore shirts that said “Moms don’t let moms fight cancer alone.”  All the men wore shirts that said, “Dads don’t led dads fight cancer alone.”  A moment of family.

So on this feast day of the Holy Family, let Mary and Joseph and Jesus be your guide and remember all the times in your life that have become a moment of family.

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, like you we are members of the Father’s family. We pray that our family love may reflect his love on its openness to all people. May we forgive even when not forgiven, and be patient with others’ weaknesses.

Jesus, give us peace, unit and strength to meet the difficulties of daily living. May we use our family resources to improve the quality of life for ourselves and all people. Let us show joy in serving, for whatever we do for others, we do for you.

Mary, inspire us, that our love may be strong but not possessive. Let our willingness to give depend on the needs of others rather than on the cost of giving.

Joseph, help us to be attentive to the Father’s will. Let us be ready, as you were, to act whenever he calls us.

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