Last Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Family. The Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated the Sunday after Christmas. If Christmas falls on Sunday, then it’s celebrated on December 30. It’s not a feast of solemnity or holy day of obligation, and it was created in the 20th century in an effort to focus on the family as the family unit began to decline. This feast celebrates the family unit of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
I haven’t really taken notice of this feast celebration in the past. This year was different, because they handed out prayer cards in church — from Pope Francis in preparation for the World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia, PA in September 2015. While Pope Francis is certainly a more liberal leader, I really like some of the things he puts top-of-mind — like family. He asked all of us to pray in union and continue to do so.
Deacon Don gave the homily at Mass, and he asked each of us to think of our “best family memory.” I couldn’t think of just one — I could think of themes and good times, but not just one favorite. Tom and I talked about it on the way home, and we both agreed that when we were asked to think about “our best family memory,” we both went back in time to our childhood. We didn’t even think of our current family unit. Maybe if we had kids — maybe then we’d feel more like a family unit. I wonder how many people actually went back to their childhoods in search of favorite memories?
I can understand why it’s celebrated after Christmas. Obviously it’s celebrated near the birth of Jesus, but it’s already a time when our days are filled with family and friends — a time when we already celebrate each other. We have multiple parties at multiple houses with all kinds of food and celebrations. We make an effort to see family and friends we haven’t seen in a while. And we celebrate the family and friends we see all the time.
As we wrap up new years and reflect on 2014 and make resolutions for 2015, I think maybe a couple of weeks of quiet time sounds really wonderful. But as I reflect, I am so thankful for our family and friends and making the most of the time we had together this year. And resolve to make every moment count in 2015.
Happy new year!
A L W A Y S B E L I E V E !
World Meeting of Families Prayer
God and Father of us all,
in Jesus, your Son and our Savior,
You have made us
Your sons and daughters
in the family of the Church.
May Your grace and love
help our families
in every part of the world
be united to one another
in fidelity to the Gospel.
May the example of the Holy Family,
with the aid of Your Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially
those most troubled, to be
homes of communion and prayer
and to always seek Your truth
and live in Your love.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!