Feast of the Holy Family: "My Father's Affairs"
The Christmas that we are celebrating one more year is the mystery of God made man, who lived in a family with Mary and Joseph. In many aspects, a family like any other and, furthermore, with great problems: doubts about paternity, poverty, persecution, exile ...
Luke, in the Gospel passage, tells us one of those days in the life of this family: Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover feast, and when Jesus was twelve years old he went with them to fulfill this precept
It was the first Passover of Jesus. His first celebration of the national holiday. It was also his first visit to the great temple, to the heart of the Jewish religion. Surely, Jesus was joyful observing attentively that sea of pilgrims in the house of God. And there he stayed without his parents' permission. Jesus, at that moment, began his personal search. A journey to find your identity; in search of his Father and his deepest roots.
According to the Gospel of Luke, the first dialogue of Jesus with his parents appears in today's story: Son, why have you behaved like this? They ask him. And his answer: Didn't you know that I have to take care of my Father's affairs?
Mary and Jose would be very surprised. They did not understand what he had just told them. And they returned to Nazareth. Mary kept these words in her heart: "my Father's affairs", and the memories of this first trip, with Jesus, to Jerusalem.
Dear friends, during all this Christmas season, we are especially invited to contemplate the mystery of Bethlehem, God incarnate in a newborn child.
Today's party is a good time to remember the importance of family. The early Christian community constituted a true domestic Church. There were no cathedrals, no churches, no hermitages; There were no buildings where they could meet to pray and participate in the Eucharist. Christians met in private homes and there they shared and celebrated their faith.
We must recover the values of that domestic Church, where affection and fraternity were lived, vindicating the importance of the family in our society. The family is the privileged place for the transmission of the faith and for communicating human and Christian values. A society that defends and protects the family institution is a strong, entrepreneurial and supportive society.
Jesus who was part of the Holy Family of Nazareth protect and bless all our families. May they be witnesses in the midst of our world of God's embrace of men and bearers of faith and hope.