Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3, Hebrews 11:8.11-12.17-19, Luke 2:22-40

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This is a family built on God and set as an example for other families to follow and emulate.

The first reading of today presents childlessness as one of the challenges of families. It is scriptural that children are blessings from the Lord.  However, Abraham’s faith gained him his request for a child despite his old age. “He believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. The Lord visited Sarah as he has said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he has promised. And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.”Genesis 15:6.21:1-3

Moreover, “by faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, Through Isaac shall your descendants be named. He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence he did receive him back and this was a symbol.”Heb 11:17-19

From Abraham to Jesus, the story has been that of giving and receiving. In today’s gospel, Jesus was brought up to Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord [as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”

Though every child is a gift from the Lord, children come with some pains that we need to endure by faith and patience.  Simeon said about Jesus, “Behold this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”Luke 2:34-35

The Holy family was a humble family. Joseph had to sacrifice his pride to manage the affairs of the home; Mary was ready to put up with whatever pains  that would come her way. Jesus, after which he has discovered his Father’s business, went to live under the tutelage of his parents. Interestingly, Joseph was able to maintain the sanity of the family despite his low income. Jesus too did not shrink from joining at the carpentry shop. all hands were on deck.

Hence, each member of the family must ask himself or herself what he or she is sacrificing for the growth of the family. This life is about give and take. Abraham was ready to give Isaac, his only son; Mary understood the fate of Jesus from the cradle. She endured the pain till the end.

We must know for sure that every favour received has its own price tag. No free lunch. If God, the creator could sacrifice his only begotten son to gain us back to himself, we cannot be left out in the game of give and take.

May the Lord bless us with all good gifts and make us useful and relevant in our families. Amen.

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