Today in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, which is the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord, we commemorate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It’s today that we try to understand with our finite minds the infinite and unconditional love and sacrifice that existed between Jesus Christ and his parents, Mary and Joseph.
On this feast of the Holy Family in 1964, Blessed Pope Paul VI said,
“The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus – the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life.”
Since the perfect example for every Christian family today and throughout the history of the Church is the Holy Family, I found it fitting today to share with you what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on the family in God’s plan –
“Honor your father and your mother” [Deut 5:16; Mk 7:10] (#2247).
According to the fourth commandment, God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with authority for our good (#2248).
The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent of the spouses. Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the spouses, to the procreation and the education of children (#2249).
“The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life” [GS 47 § 1] (#2250).
Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life (#2251).
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children (#2252).
Parents should respect and encourage their children’s vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus (#2253).
For a complete understanding of the role of the family in God’s plan, I would suggest also reading paragraphs 2196-2233 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Also check out my blog posts – The 20th Anniversary of the Year of the Family and 12 Quotes from Blessed Pope John Paul II on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World.
In a time and culture when the traditional family is being attacked, when there are many attacks on the beauty of marriage between one man and one woman, let us pray with great fervor that we may have the strength to withstand these attacks and visibly witness for the world the truth, beauty, and goodness of traditional marriage and family. May the Holy Family pray for us as we look toward their perfect example of love and sacrifice.
475th Blog Post