Lessons from the Holy Family

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Lessons from the Holy Family

It might be easy to have a romantic vision of the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. After all, we call them the “Holy Family!” We can imagine them as angels rather than human beings. We can be hesitant to associate ourselves with them, thinking that their example is beyond our reality. Yet, we can learn many lessons from the Holy Family.

The Holy Family teaches us to follow God’s lead, and to be open to whatever God’s will may be. Most of us don’t get messages from angels like Mary and Joseph, but we need to always be listening for God to speak to us.

The Holy Family shows us that we need to accept the frailty of others and even accept behaviors that may not appear ideal or normal. Joseph and Mary seem to accept that their son was motivated by something greater than they could explain and so they learned to ponder and treasure these experiences in their hearts.

The Holy Family demonstrates obedience. Mary and Joseph listened deeply for the voice of God in their lives. And, Luke tells us that after the confusion of being lost in the temple, Jesus was obedient to his parents just as he was obedient to God the Father.  

The Holy Family reveals love. The love that Jesus, Mary and Joseph experienced from God enabled them to love and trust one another as they moved forward into an uncertain future. As we strive to model our lives upon the love of the Holy Family, we can trust that God will shape our hearts into the holiness we desire.

“Let us meditate on the mystery of this unique family: we can find in it values and teachings which today are more indispensable than ever to give human society sound and stable.” – Pope Saint John Paul II

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“Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict