Sisters and Brothers,
This Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Family. I imagine most of us would say that our families are far from being holy. It would be pretty safe to say that there are no perfect families. What is it that makes us so impatient with the faults, failings, and limitations of those we spend most of our time with? How often we fail to be as loving and tolerant with family members as we are with strangers. Is it because we are so used to the people closest to us? Perhaps we just expect them “to put up with us” and we do the same to them. Could we not be more forgiving of our parents who did the best they could with what they knew and had? Could we not be more understanding and less critical of our children? Could we not be more accepting of our siblings and see the good in them?
Families are given to us. We did not get to choose our parents, or our siblings, or our aunts and uncles, or grandparents. So maybe we can learn to accept these good people that God has put into our lives and see the beautiful face of Christ in them. Maybe they will see the image of Christ in us too even though it may seem to be buried a little deeply! We need our families in the hard and difficult moments of life. We cherish them at baptisms and weddings and console them in times of grief. We need to respect and love our families all the time.
Is there someone within your family with whom you have lost touch because of busyness, distance, hurt, misunderstanding, or just not taking the time? Perhaps now is the time to forgive, to reconnect, to write, to call, to visit. Life is short. Do it in the living years.
“Jesus, thank you for my family, imperfect as it may be, but they are the people you have given me. May I grow to respect and love them for who they are. For they are your face for me and I for them. How beautiful to behold! Amen.”
Gratefully, Fr. Pat, C.Ss.R.