HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH
HOMILY THEME: THE HUMAN FAMILY
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading: Gen 15:1-6. 21:1-3 Second reading: Heb.8:11.11- 12.17-19
Gospel: Luke: 2:22-40
God can do all things, even the impossible. Yes, we know and believe this and that is why we call him The Almighty. He it was that created the world out of nothing, ex-nihilo, by his Words alone he did make all things. Something I would wish to reflect on is why God chose rather to send His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ through a human family. Jesus could possibly have come to redeem us either by descending directly from heaven and making His appearance suddenly.
Even more, the priest and king of Salem who prefigured Christ made such a mysterious appearance in Gen. 14:18. Christ could have as well followed suit. Why then did he come to us through a human family, the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph; the Solemnity we celebrate today?
Our simple catechism gave an answer to the question why God the Son was made man thus: “God the Son was made man for Him to save us from our sins and in order to show us the way to the heavenly kingdom” The human family has a lot to do in this regard. This is the only means established by God in the beginning through which the injunction “be fruitful fill the earth and conquer it” of Gen 1:28 would be realized. It is not through human cloning and all what not. The institution of the Holy matrimony is a Divine arrangement and must be respected. A lot of irregularities that exist today in the name of marriage would make one ask the question whether man is actually conquering the universe or the other way round. Some time ago in Nigeria, during a constitutional amendment, someone raised the issue that same sex marriage should be passed into law for approval. We are in trouble in this generation if we don’t take our time. The Church presents us with this feast today so that we might emulate the ideal family, the Holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. From the way the family set started, through the way they lived their family life, to how they made it to the end; we have a lot to learn.
In the first place, it was a marriage that was monogamous in accordance with God’s intention. Christ was not born of a single parenthood. Yes, nature made it that the presence of the man and the woman is so necessary in child up-bringing.
Nature itself has done the division of labour. While the woman seems to have a naturally endowment to be long suffering, pains-taking and enduring while bringing up a child, the man is a protective and defense figure made to be a security in time of danger. As we can see, the man Joseph takes up the Divine responsibility of protecting both mother and child from the impeding danger. In this case, the assumption that what a man can do, a woman can also do does not hold. Naturally, there many things a man can do which a woman cannot do; and there are many things a woman can do which a man cannot do. Both are needed to make a family run smooth. Everyone in the family has got a responsibility towards the other, the husband towards the wife and vice versa, the parents towards the children and vice versa. A happy family is a collective effort it is everybody’s responsibility. We must not be trying to fix a square peg in a round hole or else, there would be problems.