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Joseph is example of love, trust, faith

Based on the readings: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Col 3:12-21; Gospel of Mt 2:13-15, 1923

On this Sunday after Christmas, we venerate Jesus’ earthly family – the Blessed Virgin Mary and his foster father, St. Joseph. The readings call us to a deeper understanding of our faith, self-conversion and love for others, particularly for our families.

The reading from Sirach offers practical, useful advice for living a good, virtuous life – to give witness to our faith values, especially with love and respect for parents and family.

In Colossians, Paul challenges us to think not of receiving, but of living and giving in love. “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

In today’s Gospel, an angel, again, appears to Joseph in a dream and says, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”

Obeying promptly, Joseph gets everything ready and they begin the 200-mile trip to Egypt for Jesus’ safety. After King Herod’s death, the angel tells Joseph they can return to settle in Nazareth.

Celebrating the Christmas season and looking at the Holy Family in our Nativity cribs, Jesus is surely the center of the whole Christmas story, followed by Mary, and then Joseph (rather in the background). Joseph’s part in all of this is crucial. In a series of dreams, via an angel, God gave instructions to Joseph and made him responsible for the safety and protection of Mary and Jesus.

What makes the Holy Family holy? Despite the frightening and challenging conditions, and the hardship and sacrifice, they were humble people of faith who trusted God and were obedient to his directions.

The Holy Family is a model of faith for families and a reminder that every family is called to be holy – loving and serving God and one another.