December 27, 2008


Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Luke 2: 22-40

"My eyes have seen your salvation"

Simeon represents the people of Israel, who for generations have been "awaiting the consolation" that God promised His people. He now sees that promise fulfilled the very moment he holds the child Jesus in his arms, and he cries out, "My eyes have seen your salvation." He also recognizes that God's promise of salvation and glory to Israel is now extended to the Gentiles as their "light of revelation."

God's promise begins its fulfillment when Mary and Joseph say "Yes" to God's plan for them to be the parents of God's Son. They collaborate with God to bring about salvation to humanity. Then, when they carry out the prescription of God's law to dedicate the firstborn to the Lord, they enable Simeon and Anna to see salvation. In this way, the whole Holy Family becomes the sign and instrument of God's salvation.

The Holy Family, in this way, becomes a model for all Christian families of their call to witness to the presence of God's Kingdom and to bring about God's salvation in our world (1). By collaborating with God in their family life, love and dedication to one another and to their children, as well as to others, especially those in need, Christian couples live the reality of God's Kingdom and share that reality with others (2). Through Christian families living out God's love, people can see God's salvation with their own eyes.

(1) Vatican II, Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), paragraph 35.

(2) John Paul II, Familiaries Consortio (Apostolic Exhortation on The Role of the Christian Families in the Modern World), paragraphs 12 & 13 .

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