Lk. 2: 22-40


Is this feast meant to torture us? Indeed, it is wonderful to behold the Holy Family—the ideal, the perfect family. How can it not be? The mother is a sinless virgin, the legal father a just and faithful man. And there, add the Son, who is truly the Son of God! How much more perfect can it be?

However, contemporary families grapple with numerous challenges. God understands the pain of families where fractures in relationships exist. Many profile photos on social media conceal the harsh reality of misunderstanding, miscommunication, or the absence of both understanding and communication. Couple that with the financial, physical, and mental issues family members confront. So, what happens if families are not holy families?

The Gospel offers hope to unholy families today. The opening verses caught my attention. Joseph and Mary brought the Child Jesus to the Temple. They presented their Son to God and sought blessings for their family—both for their current concerns and their future. They may be holy, yes, but they will face the same problems all families must confront and even more. Unbeknownst to them, their Son will grow up to be the One who offers his parents to God, as he offers himself to God for all his brothers and sisters!

Offer your family to the Lord. If gathering the members for Sunday Mass is easy, do it faithfully every week. If there is someone who resists going with the others, “spiritually offer” that one to God in prayer. A family member with whom you disagree or who goes through a painful episode in life needs someone to “offer” his pain or situation to the Lord. A spotless family is an ideal situation. But if this is not yours, praying for your family, “offering” each member up, is effective and pleasing to the Lord.


As you go to Mass this week, thank the Lord for your family. It may not be perfect, but God chose this family for you. Regarding your family’s blind spots, dark past, or present chaos, lift up to the Lord the members that need his help the most. My grandfather once requested me to mention his name in prayer when I receive the Lord in Holy Communion. Perhaps it can be a sincere and faithful practice we can all adopt for our families.