Archive for the ‘Holy Family’ Category

Pierced Hearts 12-27-20

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

He was the light of their lives – but that light darkened for a time.
His addiction “pierced” the lives of his entire family. But with patience
and sacrifice, they got their son help and managed to heal the wound that
cut their family so deeply. Today him mom and dad are part of a group
of other parents who have gone through the same nightmare and offer
support and counsel to families living through it now. Because of them,
many hearts are “revealed”.
Some “piercings” are harder to heal: For three summers, she
volunteered for two weeks to serve as a counselor for a camp for city
children at risk. Then came the phone call that “pierced” their hearts.
The night before she was to come home, she and a group went out for
pizza. Two in the group were hurt but survived the crash, but their
daughter lost too much blood. Now her mom and dad and brother have
formed a foundation for the camp program in her name. Their daughter
and sister’s light continues to shine.

Every parent’s heart is “pierced” as they suffer with and for their
children: illnesses, disappointments, break-ups, and stumbles. The roads
our daughters and sons travel from infancy to childhood, from teen to
adulthood, can be hard to negotiate and treacherous – and Mom and
Dad’s hearts are “pierced” every step of the way. Parenthood requires
patience, wisdom and generosity that many first-time mothers and
fathers especially don’t believe they possess – but they discover over
time that their love makes them better moms and dads than they
imagined. They come to realize God’s grace in their Nazareth.
Today’s Feast of the Holy Family reminds us that being a family is
a journey of changes and challenges – what Simeon calls “piercings” in
today’s Gospel – and that it’s the love of our spouses and children and
brothers and sisters that enables us to negotiate and survive those
“piercings”, to learn from those challenges, to move on from those
difficult situations wiser and more loving. Our belonging to a family

means that every one of us – parent and child – reflects for one another

the selfless, limitless and unconditional love of Christ, both in good

times and bad. The Holy Family is a model for our own families as we

struggle together to adapt and change and cope with the many tensions
and crises that challenge the stability, peace and unity that are the joys of
being a family.

Holy Family – God the Holy is there! 12-29-2019

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

At the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is
appropriate to step back and take a hard look at certain areas of our lives.
I would like to encourage us to focus for a few minutes on our families –
the ones we grew up in – the ones we may be in today. An important
point to remember here is families today come in all sizes, shapes and
varieties.
From being in a family myself and listening to the stories of many
families, I would like to share with you three brief thoughts to consider:
First, it is very easy to criticize the families we are part of as not
being all we would like them to be – it is easy to notice our family
weaknesses. We all have them. When was the last time we took a little
time to genuinely appreciate and affirm the good and positive things
about our families? If we are struggling in our families right now, this
may require a special effort. But, I believe it is worth it. I really noticed
that when I did it for myself that I had forgotten a lot of the good things
that I had received from my family – things that money couldn’t buy –
special time spent together, unconditional love and the many sacrifices
they made for me. You might be surprised at what you would find! A
friend of mine made a list of all the good positive things in his life and
kept them in his wallet. Whenever family problems came up he would
read them and they would help keep things in perspective.
Second point, I notice people who constantly blame their families
for all that has gone wrong in their lives. It is so easy to point the finger
of blame and fault at the parents, at the kids, at social or economic
status. Granted that our families have affected us – some for the good,
some for the bad and unfortunately some for the very bad. I believe a
real growth question to ask ourselves as we begin a new year is, “When
do I stop using my family’s weaknesses as an excuse in my life? When
do I take personal responsibility for my life?”
I close with a third and final point, in the midst of all the wild and
weird conflicts we may face in our families, God wants to be part of
them. In the midst of the shouting matches, doors being slammed,
people pouting and not speaking to each other, holding grudges, and in alcoholic or abusive situations GOD THE HOLY IS THERE! God is
not embarrassed to be there and God wants to help.
As we begin the year of 2020, I pray that as we face conflicts in
our families, when we feel overwhelmed and everything seems
impossible and we try to resolve our differences – that we will be
humble and wise enough to seek help for ourselves. Especially, the
comfort, the grace and the peace that God alone can offer our families.

The Feast of the Holy Family 12-30-2018

Monday, December 31st, 2018

During his 1967 Super Bowl season with the Green Bay Packers, the great quarterback Bart Starr had a deal with his oldest son. For every perfect paper Bart Junior brought home from school, Bart Starr would give him ten cents – a pretty nifty sum of money for a kid back then.
In the course of the season, Starr had a particularly rough game against the (then) St. Louis Cardinals. Starr was discouraged and angry about his own performance. He returned home late that night, weary and battered, after a long plane ride. But his spirits lifted immediately when he found this note on his pillow:
Dear Dad, I thought you played a great game. Love, Bart.
And taped to the note were two dimes.
Within our families we experience the heights of joy and the depths of pain. Our belonging to a family means that each one of us – parent and child – reflects for the other the selfless, limitless and unconditional love of Christ, both in good times and (more importantly) in bad times. The Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus, in the suffering and tragedy they endured together, is a model for us and our own families as we confront the many tensions and crises that threaten the stability, peace and unity that are the joys of being a family.
I would like to leave you with this thought today; in the midst of all the wild and weird conflicts we may face in our families, God wants to be part of them. In the midst of the shouting matches, doors being slammed, people pouting and not speaking to each other, holding grudges, and in alcoholic or abusive situations, GOD THE HOLY IS THERE! God is not embarrassed to be there and God wants to help.
As we begin the year of 2019, I pray that as we face conflicts in our families, when we feel overwhelmed and everything seems impossible and we try to resolve our differences – that we will be humble and wise enough to seek help for ourselves. Especially, the comfort, the grace and the peace that God alone can offer our families.