Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Holy Family

Luke 2:22-40

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Marie-Angele Kitewo

Published: December 31, 2017

Read Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the... Read More…

The liturgical readings for this Sunday all refer to faith: the virtue characteristic of strong persons. In Genesis, the faith of Abraham removed the doubts caused by the sad situation of his life; he was an old man without a child and his wife was sterile.  Humanly speaking, the hope of one day having a child was no longer a possibility for him.  But the scriptures highlight well: “Abraham had faith in the Lord, and God recognized that he was just.” (Gen. 15:4). This same faith carried over across the generations to the point that it became the foundation of a family of believers who followed the example of their ancestor.   Joseph and Mary, to whom God confided his Son made human, followed the same path of faith and obedience. It is true that without faith, obedience becomes impossible. The Holy Family, comprised of Joseph, Mary and the Child Jesus, is a model household for all the human family, not only because of the deep love which united them with one another, but even more, by an unshakeable faith in the One who is the origin and source of all life.

This value of forming an exemplary entity was lived both individually and together by Mary, Joseph and Jesus:

- The faith and obedience of Mary extended throughout her entire life; they were exemplified in, “I am the servant of the Lord, may it be done unto me according to your word.” (Luke1:38)

- As for Joseph, his acceptance of the fatherhood of the Divine Child determined the entire path of his life.  His whole existence could be explained only in terms of this exceptional mission received from the Divine Father.

- Likewise for Jesus, from his infancy to the cross, he had one sole preoccupation: “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete this work.” (Jn 4:34)

As for us, we believers and Christians form or belong to varied kinds of families.  We may stop a moment to examine the basic values which sustain and nourish these families.

For us who are Sisters of Notre Dame, as a community in mission we form a religious family called to imitate and extend the Holy Family of Nazareth.  We can examine how we accomplish our responsibilities to give new life to others who also bear the characteristics of their Father: “Be perfect as your Father is perfect,” to care for, develop and prepare courageous and worthy workers in the field of the Master

One of the main concerns of African families is to perpetuate the larger family which is the clan. Let us pray that all human families may base their identity upon the example of the Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus.  In this way, they will be capable of assuring life and perpetuating the great universal family of the children of God


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