Today we celebrate the Holy Family-- a family already filled with grace that went through unbelievable difficulties, trials, and struggles as we do in our families. The Holy Family, like ours, needed to make choices to love when it was difficult, to be faithful when the way forward was anything but sure. The Holy Family provides the ideal for our families; Joseph, Mary, and Jesus knew and faced the very same hardships we do.
Today’s reading speaks of the fulfillment of the fourth commandment and shows how loving our parents and members of our family goes hand and hand with loving God. Jesus reiterates this when He tells us that the whole law can be summed up in loving God and your neighbor as yourself. Consider love, then, within the family. Love always starts with those closest to us who are our family members. Loving our families goes part and parcel with loving God, and the two go hand in hand.
Our family is one of the most important and loving gifts of God; in his providence, he gave us a family to embrace us and sustain us. A family should be the preferential environment to learn and practice all the Christian virtues. Family life will require choosing to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness even when we don’t particularly feel like it, and this is really "love". Offer your family to God, putting him in its heart and center, so that God may be the inspiration of your family relationships. May the love and all the graces of God always abide in your family, and may the Blessed Mother keep all of you under her protection in this coming year.