December 25, 2010


Holy Family - A
Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23

God in a Human Family

Besides the direct communication with the angel, everything about the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus is typical of any human family.

There are challenges and difficulties. There are moments of uncertainty and the unknown. There are even life-threatening dangers.

Then there are the love and sacrifices. Joseph did everything he could to protect the child and his mother. And while they were in Egypt, far from homes and relatives, the parents must have worked hard to provide for the family. Then there must have been the sufferings of being away from everything and everybody that was familiar.

There is also the use of human intelligence, thinking and initiative. When Joseph "heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod" he thought of not going back there.
Archelaus was in fact a "cruel" ruler. In addition, his territory suffered from such "political chaos" that eventually the Romans replaced him with their own governors. On the other hand, Galilee, which was ruled by Herod Antipas, another of Herod's sons, was relatively more peaceful [1].

All of these took place in the Holy Family. The Son of God truly came to live among us and shares with us all things that are human but sins. He calls Nazareth, an earthly town, his own home. "He shall be called a Nazorean."

Let us think of our own families. We share so many things in common with the Holy Family. And the Emmanuel is also in our families. He is God-with-us.

[1] Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew (Sacra Pagina Series). Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 45.

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