Family

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph December 26, 2021

Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128; Col 3:12-21, Lk 2:41-52

Many years ago
We took a family trip to Colorado Springs
We took in all the sights and had a great time

One night we went out to eat
And there was a long wait at the restaurant
I noticed a Barnes and Noble bookstore across the parking lot
So, I told Teague I was going to the bookstore and look around while we waited

Leigh Anne said she wanted to come along
And so off we went
Now Leigh Anne was little
I’m guessing about 4 years old

When we got in Barnes and Noble
I directed her to the children’s section 
And I went straight to the Theology section

Over the years I’ve come to embrace my nerdiness
When I was a boy, I used to cry when my mom and dad said it was time to leave the museum
Teague doesn’t like to visit museums with me because I read many of the things about each artifact
She still tells people about the time I became engrossed in a bat guano exhibit on our honeymoon

So… when I got to the Theology section of the bookstore
I kind of lost track of time
And I lost track of Leigh Anne

So, when I started to look for her
I couldn ‘t find her
I walked up and down all the aisles 
She wasn’t anywhere to be found
I began to get worried
Really worried

I thought maybe she walked back to the restaurant 
She has always been independent 
And I thought she might have gone back across that big parking lot alone
Now there was no such things as cell phone, so I couldn’t text Teague

So, I walked as fast as I could across that parking lot to the restaurant and found Teague
She hadn’t seen Leigh Anne
Now both of us were worried
Teague was also upset with me
But that could wait
And we both headed back to Barnes and Noble to find Leigh Anne

Even though it’s been well over 20 years
I still remember the fear and uncertainty I felt as we crossed that parking lot
I could see the worry in Teague’s face
And I could feel myself beginning to panic

When we walked into the Barnes and Noble
We went straight to the children’s section
And there Leigh Anne was…
As calm as can be...
Looking at a book

I asked Leigh Anne where she went
And she said she had to go to the bathroom
I can’t tell you how relieved I felt
And how thankful I was that we had found Leigh Anne

I can only imagine how Joseph and Mary felt 
When they couldn’t find Jesus
I’m sure they were worried
And maybe they even began to panic a little

I can even hear a small reprimand in Mary’s voice
“Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (Lk 2)

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is an example for all families

A family is a place of holiness
Now that might sound strange for many of us
Because many if not all of us have been hurt by our families

But it is in the family where we pray together
Laugh together 
Cry together
Mourn together
Argue with one another
Test one another
Help one another

A family is where pray together
Forgive one another
Serve one another
Affirm one another
A family is where we eat together

A family is where we celebrate life! (U.S. Catechism for Adults p. 376)

“The Christian home is the place where the children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called the ‘domestic church’...” (CCC 1666)

We can all see where Satan has attached families
We can see where sin has separated families 
And caused hurt and despair

But families are resilient
They can overcome the attack of sin 
With the help of Jesus

By practicing…
“...heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.

And over all these things put on love, that is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts…” (Col 3)

Families are a beautiful gift from God
They are a safe place to practice and learn…
Love and forgiveness

Families need to take time to be together
Families should take time to pray together and to worship together
It is important that families come to Sunday mass together

Families need to have family traditions
Like eating together
Playing and relaxing together
Celebrating birthdays together
Gathering together for Thanksgiving and Christmas  (U.S. Catechism for Adults p. 382)



Parents…
The best thing you can do for your children
Is to love one another

Children…
Respect and honor your parents

“The family is the basic unit of society.
A healthy family is the prerequisite of a healthy society.
The authority, stability, and loving relationships that are found in families are essential for a society that wants to sustain freedom, security, and community responsibility.”  (U.S. Catechism for Adults p. 383)

The Holy Family is the best example we can have…
An example of faith, forgiveness and love
An example of…family






About dwinger

Former farmer, now college instructor
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2 Responses to Family

  1. Roy Harbour says:

    Great lesson. Also, a testimony of how forgiving a wife Teague is. Loosing your daughter, and staring at bat guano on your honeymoon, you’re fortunate to have lived to write this message.

  2. dwinger says:

    Roy, you are so right! I am a very fortunate man.

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