Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holy Family

Holy Family
Luke’s Gospel tells us that when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem, Simeon took Jesus into his arms and blessed God, and said, “my eyes have seen your salvation …a light…”

Simeon also blessed the parents.  And he and another worshipper, Anna, announced the good news to templegoers.

Then, home in Nazareth, Jesus grew strong and wise.

His family was a vital factor in growing up.    

More than two millennia later, Pope Francis placed the recent Synod on the Family under the care of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph.

The pope saw this conference on family as a journey, with presentations imbued with faith, pastoral care, wisdom and courage.  And he described a Church that “must have its doors wide open” especially to welcome the needy and the penitent.  The Holy Father concluded: “Brothers and sisters, now we have one year to discern and find concrete solutions to so many challenges that families face today.”

In the meantime, Pope Francis invites families to spend time together, to listen and support one another, to share experiences, to affirm the good in one another.

He urges families to develop “a healthy sense of leisure."  Yes, set aside time to do things together, to communicate.  Sundays should be for family.

Care for nature.  As a family, talk about recycling, energy use, etc.  

Think positively about ourselves and other people.  Live a life with as few regrets as possible.

Some may remember the popular lecturer Leo Buscaglia, who authored such books as “Living, Loving and Learning” and “Born for Love.”

One of his students wrote a poem with a compelling message: you only live once; our everyday life is not a dress rehearsal; it’s the “real thing”; and the poem concludes with a regret: a plea to do good now, don’t regret not doing it.

The student’s poem, titled Things you didn’t do, goes like this:

Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and scratched it –
I thought you’d “kill” me, but you didn’t.

And the time I nagged you to take me to the beach, and you said it would rain and it did.
I thought you’d say, “I told you so,” but you didn’t.

And the time I spilled pie all over the brand new strawberry rug.
I thought you’d yell at me, but you didn’t.

There were lots of things you didn’t do.  You put up with me and you loved me.

There were lots of things I wanted to thank you for when you returned from Vietnam.

But you never did return!!!

A compelling message: don’t live a life of regrets. Do good now, not later.

Jesus, and Mary, and Joseph, lived life saying yes to God, a life together as a family, a holy family, a life with few regrets.

May God grace us:

with faith in God as He did with Abraham and Sarah,

with the virtues in Paul’s letter to the Colossians,

and with eyes of faith to see Jesus as our salvation as Simeon and Anna did.

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