Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Feast of the Holy Family

The Sunday following Christmas Day is the Feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family is the name given to the family unit of Jesus: The Divine Son of God Jesus, His mother Mary, and His foster-father Joseph. We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the Canonical Scriptures. They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, and the finding of Jesus in the temple.

Devotion to the Holy Family is a recent development, but one that naturally grows out of a love for Jesus and His family. The devotion to the Holy Family grew in popularity in the 17th century, and several religious congregations have been founded under this title. The Holy Family also became portrayed in popular art of the period. On October 26, 1921 the Congregation of Rites (under Pope Benedict XV) inserted the Feast of the Holy Family into the Latin Rite general calendar. Popes before and including Benedict XV (especially Leo XIII) promoted the feast as a way to counter the breakdown of the family unit. Today the Church celebrates the Feast on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day (Known as the Feast of Mary Mother of God in the Catholic Church).

The Feast of the Holy Family is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families. We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit, and to evaluate our own family life. What ways can it grow in holiness and perfection? What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do? Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighborhoods, and communities. We are all encouraged therefore to come and celebrate this feast as a family and to ask God to bless us and make us instruments of love just as what He did to the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. (www.churchyear.net)

God Bless! Fr. Elmer