December 26, 2021
The Holy Family
Born into a Family
Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
Luke 2:52

Christmas yesterday, and the feast of the Holy Family today. The nearness of these feasts reminds us of the essential dimension of Jesus’ humanity. However extraordinary the circumstances, Jesus was born into a family from whom he received what was necessary for him to “advance in wisdom and age.”

It is easy enough to dismiss this. Today’s Gospel lends itself to a frame of mind that emphasizes Jesus’ immediate “pipeline” to his heavenly Father. Taken too far, this reduces Mary and Joseph to functional characters who are a kind of stage set for Jesus’ divine mission. This fails to do justice to the humanity of Jesus who learned the measure of manhood from the just man, Joseph, and the surrender of loving obedience from his mother, Mary.

Only in this way can we give proper due to the “both-and” that marks our Catholic sensibility: Jesus the son in the family of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth and Jesus who receives all that he has from the Father.

- Fr. Dennis Gallagher, A.A.

Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or 1 Sm 1:20-22, 24-28 • Ps 128:1-5 or 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10 • Colossians 3:12-21 or 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24 • Luke 2:41-52

Comments

December 26, 2021 at 10:38 PM

*** I love how real this family was when Jesus, a 12 years old boy, decided to stay behind on His own without His earthly parents. *** More real to me was Mary’s response when she found Jesus in Luke 2:48, “When His parents saw Him (Jesus), they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety.” *** Here is my lesson learned from Jesus in Luke 2:51a, “He (Jesus) went down with them (Joseph and Mary) and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them;” ******* Obedience is the right response when others do not understand what you are doing! And when you do, you will advance in wisdom and age and favor before God and man as Jesus did in Luke 2:52 :-)

December 26, 2021 at 02:09 PM

I love the line from scripture, “…and his mother kept all these things in her heart.” So many times we watch our children and when asked for memories later, we have these snippets of memory. What else did Mary not quite understand, but hold in her heart? I always wonder what things didn’t make it into the narrative that she didn’t quite understand, but hold in her heart. Part of Christ’s human and divine mystery.

December 26, 2021 at 05:09 AM

Matthew 13:55-56 International Children’s Bible 55 He is only the son of the carpenter. And his mother is Mary. His brothers are James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. 56 And all his sisters are here with us. So where does this man get all these things?” Jesus had siblings too. Let us remember them too.

Troy
December 29, 2021 at 04:53 AM

You do not need to believe me. Believe your Bible, not traditions. He was in his hometown. He would have known his siblings. Jesus said who are my brothers and sisters. He was not referring to cousins.

Salina
December 26, 2021 at 07:21 PM

Interesting discussion... Matthew 1:24-25, "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage UNTIL she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus." So Joseph consummated the marriage after Jesus was born! Siblings would be very much likely since Mary was young and birth control was not available! What difference would it make if Jesus had siblings? If Jesus went through everything we go through, having siblings would be very natural! Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) Who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One Who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet He did not sin." What better temptation than sibling rivalry especially Jesus was perfect first born? Why would these cousins always show up with Mary (their aunt) in Scripture.

Mark
December 26, 2021 at 11:01 AM

Mel is correct. Brother and sister referred to cousins (and potentially other relatives). Jesus was an only child.

Joe
December 26, 2021 at 10:10 AM

I have wrestled with the question whether Jesus had siblings or not. Perhaps to scripture scholars it matters, but ultimately our focus is on Jesus…

Mel
December 26, 2021 at 09:20 AM

Jesus did not have sibling brothers or sisters, that idea is a misinterpretation of the words translated from Greek.

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