Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Family. Fortunately, they don't call it the Feast of the Perfect Family, but I think they got kind of an unfair advantage considering two of the members were sinless. Poor Joseph! But they weren't perfect - their teenager decided to stay behind in the city they were visiting without telling anyone, and his parents left without making sure he was with them.
Our families, too, are called to be holy, though sometimes we are not anywhere close to that ideal! So, if we are called to be holy, that must be an attainable goal. Not perfection - just holy.
The second reading from Sunday is one of my favorite bits of scripture. It seems to come up fairly frequently, and it will always remind me of our previous pastor for a couple of different reasons. This is from Colossians 3:12-17, and it gives us some direction for having a holy family:
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, (that's us!) heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all of these put on love.... And let the peace of Christ control your hearts.... And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly....And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Oh, goodness! Patience? Bearing with one another - even when you are tired of bearing with some people? Forgiving? Again?? Patience? Love? Be thankful?? Really?? We are God's chosen ones? So we have to act like it? Was He running short on people to choose from ? Patience?? Peace of Christ? Peace? Here? In this house? I have to forgive AS the Lord forgives me? That means I'll be forgiving for years to come?? The same things over and over? Patience??
Does anyone think that this call to be a Holy Family might be a lifetime work? Probably best accomplished with prayers, as well as compassion, gentleness, humility, patience, forgiveness, love, and gratitude. Lord, don't go anywhere. I'll be needing you often for this project!
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