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Pastor's Letter 20211226 - 26 December 2021 - Family Life

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December 26th, 2021

Feast of the Holy Family


A Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  Family Life” 

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

In today’s First Reading (1 Samuel 1:20-28,) we deal with the birth of Samuel, and his consecration to God.  Hannah saw Samuel as a gift from God, a sign of God’s favor to her.  It’s not surprising she dedicated him to the Lord.  In due time, Samuel made his own dedication and went on to play a major role in the history of Israel.  

In truth every child is a gift from God.  All parents have hopes and dreams for their children.  But parents can’t determine the future for their children.  They must find their own ways, sometimes in “conflict” with those of their parents.  


Jesus had a “double identity.”  He was the son of Mary, and also the Son of God.  We share this relationship with our parents and with God.  Our Second Reading (1 John 3:1-24,) makes it clear that we are part of God’s family.  It was God Who first loved us.  We did nothing to earn it—in fact, our very existence could be said to be a “sign” of God’s love.  Children respond to their parents’ love by obeying them.  Similarly, we respond to God by obeying His commandments, especially His commandment to love.  


Our Gospel tells the story of how the 12-year-old Jesus got lost in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52.)  It shows the misunderstandings that can occur even in the best of families.  We are inclined to say that Jesus got lost in the Temple, but it was there He began to find Himself, and discover His true identity.  He was not just the son of Mary, but the unique Son of God.   Many lost, homeless souls have come to God’s house, or have wandered into it by accident, and felt at home there; have found peace there; and found themselves there.  In God’s house we discover who we are, too.  Whatever the world may think of us, in God’s house we know we are God’s precious daughters and sons.  As such, it’s very much the way we feel in our homes—where we are accepted as we are, with our strengths and weaknesses.  Such acceptance allows us to “grow” into responsible human beings.  

What’s in a “Word?”

“Family” is the traditional word for the deepest and most treasured relationship shared by human beings.  Throughout the centuries, the traditional family has radically evolved in its application and significance.  Where once, it simply referred to the nuclear cell of society, or to one’s clan and tribe, the term now embraces many other groupings, many of which may even be artificial and temporary.  Earth has now become a “global village,” and
“neighborhood” has earned a new definition because of the immediacy and relentlessness of the communication media.  With these new definitions comes a frightening and perhaps, overwhelming, responsibility. 

In modern society, we are witnesses to the breakdown of the traditional family and its values—filial respect for authority, exercised responsibly by parents—and with it, there is a trend of rising juvenile delinquency. Of course, there is no easy remedy available for this cultural change.  The Christian family is not immune to the effects of neighborhoods, schools, social media, friends and recreational patterns.  However, even as in stormy weather a ship may get at least some guidance from a beacon, so authority from the earliest infancy must be exercised, but perhaps in a different way. Certainly, it cannot be completely eliminated.  Parents must still impart respect for authority to their children.  

As is evident today, family values have deteriorated, due, in large part, to our mobile society, with the necessity of two-parent households requiring two (or more) incomes to survive, the growth of single parent families—and sometimes, NO-parent families, where children are left to “fend for themselves.”  

It’s clear Christians must work for a restoration of these family values that we hold so dear.  While there may be no instant solutions, there certainly is hope!  No substitute for sound family values has yet to be offered by any of the behavioral sciences.  Without them, people are doomed to generations of anomie and despair, while at the same time, destined to inherit the earth.  Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” broadcast from Colorado Springs, CO, has been a beacon for family life to all who may have listened for many years.  It has been reigniting the familial spirit, which remains alive, though somewhat dormant, in many places in our world.  Throughout history, whenever the family unit has deteriorated, the fall of that civilization has soon followed. It is crucial in our time that we attempt to forestall any further deterioration. 

Parents and grandparents must take an active role in helping family members understand that values of a Christian way of life still constitute the “right” way for people to live.  This purpose was set when parents first brought children into the world.  We must never lose sight of our primary role in their lives.  We must remember that it’s never too late to lovingly offer guidance, and continually pray to the Holy Spirit to give us strength to accomplish our goal! 

May God Richly Bless You!

"In the word 'enfleshed,' God speaks the language of our flesh and blood--the pulsing of our needs and aspirations, and even in the shadows of our sinful, darker side."

To view a live stream of today's Holy Mass, click here:  

Find Us Faithful.docx

Edited by Father Michael
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