The Holy Bible emphasizes the importance of a family as the centre of our lives. All the Catholics around the world, on the first Sunday after Christmas, celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, i.e., (St. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.). In doing so, the Church tries to establish the connection between the birth of Jesus and the family. However, the most fundamental questions you and I, who participate in this annual event, are; what are the lessons we, as Christians, can learn from the life of the Holy Family? If any, then have we been putting them into practice in our day-to-day lives?
For God to have sent His only Son to be born in a family, it is clear that he values the power and importance of a family. He wanted to be part of a family just like us. Through this, the Christians were given the perfect model for their families, with several lessons to learn and emulate, some of which include the following:
The power of prayers in the family.
One of the distinctive characters of the Holy Family was constant prayers, and this helped bring them closer as a community of love. If we have a good relationship with God, we pray and even read the scripture. Mary, in her Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) shows that she had a vast knowledge of the Scripture since it is made up of quotes from various books in the Bible. Constant prayers and daily scripture should be practiced in Catholic homes as this brings a family together enhancing love, discipline, and sharing.
Individual responsibility and hard work.
Just like most of our families, St. Joseph was the head of the family as well as its breadwinner. Mary, on the other hand, took care of other daily chores including taking good care of our Savior Jesus Christ;most people today wrongly regard this work as being insignificant to the family. Joseph taught Jesus early in His life how to work as a carpenter. Parents are urged to equip their children with lessons about hard work; this may be done by letting them help with domestic chores.
Total surrender as well as building a community of love and sharing.
Each family member needs to be ready and willing to offer him/herself for the sake of others and parents should lead by example. Mary, for example, dropped all her commitments in order to visit and serve her aunt Elizabeth despite the fact that she was pregnant at the moment (Luke 1:39-56). When Joseph was asked by God to lead his family out of danger, he demonstrated self-surrender and flee his family to Egypt. Despite being poor, he did all he could to protect Jesus. Parents should, therefore, be ready and willing to sacrifice everything to protect their children, both body and soul protection by strongly fighting all threats to their physical and moral lives.
Remaining faithful to God.
Even though the Holy Family was one with hardships, they remained faithful to God and obeyed Him by strictly following His instructions and living according to His word.
God always came first before everything else. For us as Christians to have peace and joy in our families, we should emulate this great family by obeying God’s commandments and having total faith in Him. We must also pray with our children as well as teach them how to pray. Children, on the other hand, must obey and honor their parents, just like Jesus did. These are just but few examples of the many lessons from the Holy Family. This is, therefore, the best family for us as Christians to benchmark with for us to constantly enjoy the fruits of peace and love in our lives in today’s complex world.