Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (December 30, 2016)

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. In the Gospel we see how Divine Providence guided the Holy Family as it endured its trials. St. Francis de Sales notes:

In today’s Gospel the angel commanded Joseph to take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Egypt. Like the Holy Family, we must go into a world where we find ourselves in the midst of enemies. As a result, we can become disquieted if events don’t go according to our wishes. To avoid the shipwrecks that are so common in sailing the waters of this world, let us consider the great peace and serenity of mind that the Holy Family had. With holy confidence in Divine Providence, they remained calm and peaceful amid the unexpected events that befell them. God will protect us too in the sea of life when everything may be in confusion not only around us, but within us as well.

However, no matter what course the ship may take, our heart, our spirit, our will, which is our compass, must tend toward God’s love and peace, for God’s place of peace is in the restful heart. When a lake is very calm on a very serene night, the stars in the sky are reflected in the lake. If we look down into the tranquil lake, we see that the beauty of the heavens is as clearly visible as when we look up at the night sky. Likewise, when our soul is perfectly calm and untroubled by the winds of superfluous cares, unevenness of spirit, and uncertainty, it is very capable of reflecting in itself the image of our Lord.

The Holy Family teaches us how we ought to embark on the sea of Divine Providence. Trusting in God’s providential goodness, let us not be surprised or troubled when we meet with similar problems to those encountered by the Holy Family. Try to do well today without thinking of the next day. If you fall short in some way, do not be disheartened. Our Savior’s heart is large, and wants our heart to find room in His heart.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)