There are many options for the readings for today. They all have the same theme. Or I should say combination of themes. First, the prophecy of Simeon and Anna that the child presented to the temple is the Messiah. Second, the holy family as a family. Let us talk about this holy family for a moment
The holy family is extremely unique. First, Jesus is human and divine. I know He would learn how to talk and walk and do all things that a baby would do, but I often wonder how He would behave. Jesus would be without sin. Nor would He be capable of sin. Not to say Jesus might be mischievous at times, but the things He did or said would not be in contradiction to God. Mary was also conceived without sin. She was filled with grace from the very beginning. She would never commit a sin so everything she said or did would be in obedience to the Father. Joseph was given special graces to be the foster father of Jesus. He was totally human as we are, born with original sin. Joseph would have been a loving, caring provider for his family. He would have also been courageous and resourceful.
Often, people like to compare themselves to the Holy Family. As a goal that is alright. But many people become stressed or filled with anxiety when their family is not perfect like the Holy Family. That is because we are comparing the wrong things. As I said before, Jesus was human and divine and does the will of the Father. Unless you have a child that has never sinned, then your children are not going to behave like Jesus.
Mothers: Mary was obedient to God in everything. That means she never sinned by getting angry, saying cross words, never gossiped, was never envious of what others have, or any other sin.
Fathers: unless your wife and children are like Mary and Jesus, then you have issues that need to be dealt with. Joseph would have met life challenges without chastising his family or swearing or getting angry or demanding too much.
So, let us admit it, we do not have perfect families. But God does encourage us to work toward perfection. How is that done? To be the best you can with what you have. Take heart and know your family, with all its problems and issues, is loved by God. As parents know that you have been given the skills and talents to raise your children just like God has planned for them. God has also given us the sacraments with the grace we need to grow in faith and love.
Fathers turn to Joseph and ask for his help and guidance and peace. Mothers turn to Mary and ask her for that motherly instinct and love she had for the Christ-child. Children, grow in faith and love for your parents and God, being obedient to them. Your family will grow in faith and love and holiness.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen