Mt 2:13-23 The Holy Family
This morning, the Holy Father reminded us that once again, “the earth is stained with blood.” Christmas day attacks on Christians left many dead, too many, and countless injured throughout the world, especially in the Philippines and Nigeria. May the birth of the Lord open our hearts to hear his sweet words, “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34).
I think we can safely say that we have tried every conceivable way to be happy without God. We have tried and tried and we have come up miserably short. Worse still, we have tried to export our technology, our fancy gadgets and trends, our way of life to other cultures and peoples and they have wholeheartedly rejected it. There appears to be bitterness and resentment throughout the world for anything that is from the West, especially from the United States. Not too long ago, when the Holy Father John Paul II visited communist Poland, the million and plus crowd began to shout, “We want God! We want God! We want God!” A shiny star was shining over Poland.
It appears as though everything they had was not enough without God.
We can no longer contemplate the manger scene. The Holy Family is on the run. Evil men, angry men and powerful men are already out to destroy the child Jesus. They will stop at nothing to get him; resorting to the indiscriminate murder of “innocent” children. Joseph and Mary must run, and run as far away as possible. We can learn a lot from this family as they make their way away from Bethlehem and from Israel.
Saying “yes” to God means becoming a target. Christians are targets. We go against the culture; against the current. We are an eye sore to many. We don’t follow the crowd. We cannot be packaged and shipped away. We simply do not disappear. The Holy Family continues to live according to God’s plan, and in the end, to everyone’s surprise, they reappear as their enemies disappear.
Simple is Special. The world continues to mass produce its products for happiness. We have seen it all. We are told, “This will make you happier” or “This will make you live better.” Communism: Everyone will have a job. Free health care. No taxes. We will take care of you from birth to death! Sounds great! The results were horrible. Nazism: Everyone will have a job and we will gain the world’s respect! Sounds great, but the results were tragic. Many have come before us. Many have promised so much to us. But in the end, it was worse than before. The Holy Family had only each other, and they had everything. No special graces were given to them except some divine warnings through dreams. Joseph had to find a job and work. Mary had to save and make do with what they had. They had to pay taxes and they had to manage their budget. But the birth of a child is a blessing and helps a family stay united. The child Jesus did nothing practical to help. But help he did! He was present throughout Mary and Joseph’s life. A child helps to remind us of why we are here and what we are here for. It is a simple remedy to hardship, despair and depression. These are things we struggle with more than ever before.
Let us meditate on the Holy Family this Christmas Octave. Today, let the Lord remind you of the promise he made to his Disciples: “My grace (my presence) is sufficient for you."