At the end of the calendar year, we find ourselves reflecting, don't we? We look backward a lot, and maybe we look forward somewhat less. We review. The radio stations play the most popular songs of 2020. News outlets recap what they consider to be the most consequential events of the year. Most of us just want to put 2020 behind us and look to brighter days. I find myself hoping that our church will be overflowing soon with our people who have been starving without Mass and express their joy at the soul's homecoming with loud singing. And right in the middle of all this reflecting and hoping, the Church calls us back to the present moment with the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which is always celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas. What does this feast tell us?
Mary and Joseph were visited by angels, and not because they asked for it. Mary gave birth in a barn, and not because the hotel rooms were booked for a census. They fled to Egypt, and not just because Herod had been deceived by the Magi. They searched for him for three days and found him in the temple, and not because the adolescent wanted to admire its architecture. She watched him die on a cross, and not because she had nowhere else to be. Everything was different--was inconvenient, interrupted, mysterious, puzzling, and finally hopeful--because the lives of Mary and Joseph became all about Jesus. May He occupy more of our thoughts, our conversations, our prayers, our Sundays, and our hopes in the new year to come.
Yours in Him, Fr. Eric