Our Ministries
20 Dec

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

A Family Trip Gone Wrong

What adjective most readily comes to mind when I say the word “family?” Unless you looked at the image or have read this Sunday’s readings, I dare say, the first word would not be holy.

Let’s try to name some adjectives. Some might be biological, blended, growing, young, distant, adopted, loving, interracial, bi-cultural, broken, international, separated, dysfunctional. Did you discover others? As I did this exercise, I had to think intentionally of descriptive words that had a positive connotation. I wonder why that is? Was it the same for you?

The story of Jesus being “lost” to Mary and Joseph might have some differing meanings. There is always the physical reality of being lost, or not able to be located. The other is the idea of not sharing the same concept of what it means to be family. Jesus explains to his mother that he has a Sonship with the Father, as well as his sonship with her and Joseph.

In our own families, many of us suffer from anxiety about our children who in our minds are “lost” to the faith, or “lost” to drugs, or “lost” to unhealthy relationships. It’s hard to be family in these situations. Most of the time we cannot understand why this is happening or how it came to be.

Perhaps the lesson from the Gospel this weekend is this. Our responsibility is to focus less on ourselves and our anxiety, to love intensely and continuously, to teach our children to listen and obey, and then to let them go, and ultimately to believe that we like Jesus, will all be reunited in our Father’s house.


Part of this reflection was inspired by the reflection from Catholic Women Preach. You can find it at http://catholicwomenpreach.org/preaching/12302018.