The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Homily)
December 27, 2020 11:30 am · Father Sergio Muñoz Fita
“When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (Lk 2:39-40)
Today's reading of the Holy Gospel concludes with these words. Personally, this Sunday I understand them as an invitation from the Holy Spirit to accompany the Holy Family to their little house in Nazareth to learn the most important lessons of the Christian vocation as we contemplate their domestic life, especially that of the child who was "growing and becoming strong" there.
On the Sunday after Christmas, the Church directs our sigh to the model that the Holy Family is for us all. Jesus, Mary and Joseph will always be the epitome of any human community that wishes to live the virtues of which the Apostle Paul speaks in his letter to the Colossians: compassion, generosity, harmony, peace, humility, kindness, patience, gratitude “and over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”
This is one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix, which, thanks be to God, continues to grow. We are close to reaching 10,000 registered families, and within the boundaries of the parish, there are approximately 100,000 souls that God loves and that he wishes to take with him to heaven forever. 100,000 people, 10,000 Catholic families… and 3 priests.
I sometimes use this example: imagine that I could personally visit one family, every day, for a whole year. At the end of that year, I would have been able to meet 365 families from St. Anne… Well, I would need more than 25 years, without missing a single day, to see all the people that the Lord has entrusted to me. It is simply impossible.
As your pastor, I would like to be close to all the families of St. Anne, but I cannot be. For this reason, today I come to ask for your help so that together we can discern what the Lord is asking of us to cultivate the spiritual life of all families, of each family, of your family. I feel like this is an area here where we can do more.
I believe that at St. Anne we have wonderful families and I know that there are many married couples for whom their union with God and their life of holiness is a real priority. Many of these couples sincerely want to grow in charity, in faith, in the path of prayer. They want to be good parents to their children. They want to fight well in the battle of the spiritual life. I also know that many feel alone and would like to meet other families in the parish and join with them in the adventure of friendship with Christ.
To those who can relate in any way to these words, I ask you to please reach out to me so that we can see what we can do together. I know that God has given many of you abilities and talents to work in family ministry. Others will even have ministry experience and can make invaluable contributions.
Please tell me where you are spiritually, what Christian needs you have, how you think you can serve the Lord in this area, and then we will see what God allows us to do. Some of the things I hear are these:
“My spouse and I would like to have a group of married couples with whom to pray and learn together, but we would like to share the same perspective.”
"My problem is that I don't know how to educate my children in the Faith."
"I confess that I have a lack in my training and I do not know many of the teachings of the Church."
"My spouse and I would like to know the natural methods of family planning, but we don't know who to go to, or we are a bit embarrassed, or we have heard that the courses are very expensive."
"I would like to help if something were done for the families, but I'm not sure what I could do."
"I have experience and could help in this way..."
Maybe you are the one who will know what to say and how to express it.
Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to express your wishes and concerns is by email (email@example.com). My intention is to share what you tell me with people who can help me discern and channel all these "cries for help". For this reason, I ask that if there is something you want to tell me confidentially, you indicate it expressly so that part can be read and known exclusively by me.
What I have said today is addressed to married couples who both share the desire to grow spiritually following the example of Saint Joseph and Mary. I know that there are many other groups of people who would also need spiritual accompaniment, such as single parents, widowers or widows, married people who feel lonely on the Christian path because their spouse is hostile to the faith, etc. I'm not forgetting about you either - it’s just that we can't face everything at once and we have to go one step at a time.
I ask the Holy Family of Nazareth to assist us so that we can better serve the families of our community and so that we can preserve the gift of divine grace that God has given us by becoming man for us.