Daily Gospel Reflection – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Love the Ones You’re Given — Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon
Friends, families teach us that we don't always get to choose the people we love, but we're given people that we're then called upon to love. On this Feast of the Holy Family, let's meditate upon the importance of this calling.
December 26, 2021
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Gospel: Lk 2:41-52
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel tells the familiar story of Mary and Joseph finding twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple. When they find him, they—with understandable exasperation—upbraid him: "Son, why have you done this to us?" But Jesus responds, "Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?"
The story conveys a truth that runs sharply counter to our sensibilities: even the most powerful familial emotions must, in the end, give way to mission. Though she felt an enormous pull in the opposite direction, Mary let her son go, allowing him to find his vocation in the temple. Legitimate sentiment devolves into sentimentality precisely when it comes to supersede the call of God.
On a biblical reading, the family is, above all, the forum in which both parents and children are able to discern their missions. It is perfectly good, of course, if deep bonds and rich emotions are cultivated within the family, but those relationships and passions must cede to something that is more fundamental, more enduring, more spiritually focused.
The paradox is this: precisely in the measure that everyone in the family focuses on God’s call for one another, the family becomes more loving and peaceful.