On Families

Greetings in Christ,

My Mom’s birthday is December 21 and many years I am not able to be with her to celebrate as it is so close to  Christmas and there is much to do in the parish.  This year she turned 85 and all her kids were able to be with her to celebrate the day. We don’t all get together often due to distance and work schedules.  It was wonderful to have us all together for a happy celebration.

A family is something we all have.  It may be a large, boisterous, delightful group.  It may be a small, close knit circle.  It may be always fun to be together.  It may be difficult and trying to be as family.  There is no perfect family that only knows harmony and bliss.  Each family faces times of great challenge that may not always be successfully managed.  There may be families that are so broken that being together is just too painful.  A family is something we all have.

Jesus was born into a family.  Joseph and Mary were not His only relatives, there may have been literally dozens of others in and around Nazareth as Jesus grew.  They may have been a wonderful gathering of people or they may have been a challenge.  They probably fell somewhere in between, just like most of ours do.  It is unlikely that His family was any more perfect than any of ours.  

This is part of the joy of the Christmas message, that God comes among us not as we should be but as we are.  As John writes in his gospel, ‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’  Jesus comes to us as we are in order to redeem and renew us from our brokenness.  We have in Jesus the One who brings forgiveness to us and leads us toward that day when all the imperfections of human life will be no more and we will all know the joy of God’s family.

Until that day, may the One who came among us so fill our lives with His love and mercy that we catch a glimpse of what will one day be ours.