Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Praised be Jesus and Mary, now and forever, Amen.

This year we are more than blessed to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family right after the most significant celebration of the solemnity of Christmas. Christmas is Christ. Christ comes to us through a family. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus are called Holy Family because they put their total allegiance to God’s will. Joseph is holy because he embraced whatever God’s plan in his life. Mary is holy because she remained committed to the wonderful mission God has given her. She is a mother whose purity, faithfulness, and obedience are absolutely directed to God. Obviously, both Joseph and Mary played a vital role for the coming of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity here on earth.

It has been an amazing thought that Christmas is a celebration of joy. Everybody is expressing a magnificent joy that only comes from God who dwells among us. The child Jesus is given to us through the family of Joseph and Mary. This act of giving Jesus to us is actually an act of great love on the part of God. We could never have a deeper reflection about Christmas if we don’t deal with God’s boundless love for each one of us. This should be the center of our Christmas celebration. Love remains the sole reason of this season. When we put more attention to this reality, there is an assurance for us to have an incredible joy in this Yuletide season.

Joy is an outward symbol of love. A loving family is a joyful family. When a family places God at the center of their activities and relationships, joy would always triumph no matter what happens. Mary and Joseph have undergone emotional, mental, physical, and even social difficulties but they didn’t lose their focus on what is truly essential in their lives. They have never forgotten that God is with them. Just as Jesus was with Joseph and Mary, He is also with every family as of the present moment until the end of the world. And this is what every family should always consider in their lives. God comes to us to be with us permanently. He continues to invite us, to let Him reign in every family so that love will also reign in our hearts. When love reigns, joy becomes more visible.

It is my constant wish that all families would not only be the recipients but also sharers of God’s love and joy in this Christmas season. God continues to spread love inside and outside the family. Our parish community is a big family that has been an instrument of God’s presence. May the presence of God we encounter in the celebration of the sacraments be our guiding light as we continue exploring the world of love and joy especially in this Yuletide season.

Let us be inspired by the sanctity of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary so that our parish community will be nurtured by their holiness of life. Long live Jesus, Joseph and Mary! Long live this Happy and Holy Family!

Have a blessed Christmas and bountiful New Year everyone!

May God bless you and your family,

Fr. Joel Ricafranca, RCJ

Associate Pastor,

St. Jerome Parish