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Feast of the Holy Family
Why are roads blocked by heavy traffic during this season?  Why are shopping malls teaming with people?  Why is everyone rushing to get home?  Parties, yes.  Social functions, yes.  Religious devotions yes.  But at the heart of all these is family.
We want to go home to family.  We want to buy gifts for loved ones.  We want to pray for people dear to us.  We want to make sure we are present when family dinner is served and when family reunions happen.  Filipino Christmas is unique in that it is best celebrated not with friends or officemates but with family members, even if at times, you only get to connect with them by phone or computer.  They need to be there, physically or virtually, present with you on Christmas day.
Some people complain about their families – rambunctious kids, erring spouse, gossipy in-laws, high cost of living and maintenance, endless bickering. But when they consider life apart from their family, they realize they cannot live happily without this natural human link.
Some people think that being without a family means independence and freedom and comfort.  And yet, when troubles come, they wish they had a family to come home to and talk things over.
The family is a mystery.  Even God needed a human family when he came into our history and visited our lives, falling in love with our fallen world.  The gospel of the Holy Family’s visit to the temple in Jerusalem (Lk. 2) shows us that this most blessed family was not free from daily concerns and common problems.  It was even the Child Jesus who caused much distress to Mary and Joseph, his legal father!  But it is also in the family that Jesus had to eventually return to learn obedience, love and unity.  It was in the family that Mary developed a reflective heart.  It was in this family that Joseph became a holy man by faithfully working for a living.
The family is important to God because God too is family.  Remember that when we think of God, we think of Father, we think of Son.  Aren’t these family words? And yet they refer us to the heart of God himself.  We also think of the Spirit, the spirit of love and unity, the atmosphere essential to every family.
This is why as Christians we are called to cherish our families, to nurture our  families, and to protect our families.  The Church, the family of God on earth, has a special mission to defend the family.  Many forces today destroy the family.  Abortion, contraception and rebellions of all sorts tear away at the fabric of the family.  Divorce, abuse, violence transform the family into an agency of oppression rather than real freedom.   
There is no perfect family in our world today but the Lord reminds us that every family centered on God finds peace, unity and joy. Remember your families.  Pray for your families. Help your families find the way to Jesus the Prince of Peace.