The hectic activities of the Christmas celebrations are mostly gone, and now we deal with the memories of those days. Whenever families are gathered for the holidays it seems as if the best and worst of all its member's affects tend to appear. Now that mostly everyone is gone back to wherever they came from, we deal with the questions: Was it worth it? Can we not be like every other family and enjoy the celebrations in peace?
A good friend of mine, who happens to be a psychiatrist, once told me an assertion that made me wonder. She said: "All families are dysfunctional." She was not trying to tell me that all families are sick, but the simple fact that there are no perfect families. Every family has issues and they deal with them the best way they can.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. What is the Church's liturgy trying to teach us through this celebration? Contrary to what some people believe, the Church is not trying to present to us a perfect family, but is showing us a more realistic option. It is showing us the option available to all families to be holy.
Contrary to what some people think, holiness is not perfection. Holiness is learning how to fulfill God's will in our lives. It is living our lives in obedience to God's plan. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph also dealt with issues: Joseph's doubts, Jesus' decision to remain in Jerusalem when his parents left. We all know of insecurities and rebelliousness in our ovm families. There are no perfect families.
However, there is an option available to all our families, the option to become holy in the eyes of God: the option to live in obedience to God's will within our families; the option to realize God's plan within the small framework of our families.
Our family life may never be perfect, but holiness is always a possibility with God's grace and our commitment. May all our families become holy families!
-fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P.