“And be thankful” (Col 3:16)
The life of the Holy Family, very private life, hidden life. Thirty years in silence. We know only about the beginning, escape to Egypt, episode in the Temple when Jesus was twelve years old and … nothing more.
We can say that Jesus wasted thirty years of His life doing nothing. Meaning: nothing important for God, like for example saving this world. But no.
This part of His life is so important for us. He chose to spend all those years in the family, with Mary, His mother, and St. Joseph – and only three years outside. The mission was the same: God “gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (J 3:16). In the family and outside the family.
That is why St. Paul wrote in such detail: “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged” (Col 3:18-19.21).
This is still the same mission, Good News: “so that everyone … may have eternal life” (J 3:16).
And today is a very special day to “be thankful”. For the Holy Family, for the beauty of family life, which is a very special and personal way to sanctification: “put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection” (Col 3:12-14).
O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtue of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. (Collect)
Keeping all of You in my prayer