By : Attah Boakye Joseph, Kumasi Catholic Archdiocese
Now his Parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, Joseph and His mother did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but when they began to search for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at his understanding and his answers . And when His Parents saw Him, they were astonished. And His mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold your Father and I have been searching for you in great distress”
And He said to them, ” why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s House? And they did not understand the saying that He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And His mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and Man. Luke 2:41-52.
Brethren in Christ Jesus, what a joy it is to live in a happy Family! The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were happy despite their fair share of trials and troubles. Joseph and Mary had to flee into Egypt for Herod sought to kill the Child. The twelve year old teenage Jesus got lost on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Imagine the agony that Joseph and Mary went through as they were looking for Him for three days.
Later, Joseph died leaving Mary and Jesus in grief. Jesus Himself was killed in the prime of life.
Despite all this, theirs was a Happy Family. What was the secret of that happiness? Reverence, their lives were centred on God. We need to pray as a Family today and any other day. The Family that prays together stay together.
Prayer must be accompanied by a spirit of work. Each member of the family needs to do his or her bit. Like the parts of the body help one another, so ought we to help one another. St Paul admonishes, ” He who does not work must not eat!” Brethren, in the Holy family, there was Respect. Mary and Joseph as spouses respected each other, Jesus respected them for even though He was God, He was subject to them. Mary and Joseph respected Jesus. When Mary did not understand Him, she ponders His words in her Heart.
Brethren in the Lord, after the joyful liturgical celebration of Christmas where we have contemplated the mystery of Word made flesh, today we fix our eyes on Joseph, Mary along with Jesus who form the Holy Family. Church attributes great importance to this feast, because of the primary role of family in the life of a person. One wonders even God, to come to us, among all other possibilities, took the route of a family. He chose a family to be born, to live and grow. He needed a Father and Mother to learn to speak, walk and work. Our families become Holy, only when God occupies a central role and everything is encountered there in the light of God. Mary constantly encountered God through His Word, and received guidance.
Joseph was inclined to listen to God’s messages. Jesus grew to be a person of prayer, fasted and observed Holy days. Jesus received all these habits from His family life of Nazareth. They were a model family in which both Parents worked hard, helped each other, understood and accepted each other, and took good care of their Child so that He might grow up not only in human knowledge but also as a child of God. Jesus brought Holiness to the family of Joseph and Mary. Jesus brings Holiness to us also by accepting us in His family. Beloved ones, we need to hand over every aspect of our families lives to Jesus and He will not disappoint us. He brings, peace, joy, togetherness and oneness into our families if only we allow Him alone to control our families. Why don’t we invite Him and hand over everything to Him right now? He is able to see us through. With Jesus, all things are possible. Good morning to all Brethren. Have peaceful Sunday and Happy and prosperous new year in advance. Please let us continue to pray for our dear Nation Ghana for peace and unity. Let us also pray for the Sick and Needy in our societies.
Thank you all. SHALOM.