THE HOLY FAMILY, YEAR C
26th December, 2021
1 Samuel 1:20-22,24-28; 1 John 3:1-2,21-24; Luke 2:41-52.
Mary stored up all these things in her heart.
The visit of the Holy family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Jerusalem was a moment of revelation. Jesus goes missing after a successful pilgrimage to Jerusalem to mark the feast of the Passover. After three days of strenuous searching, he is found in a rather uncommon condition in the midst of the scribes and teachers of the law. They found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers and the scribes, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. This revelation got Mary and Joseph thinking about their child. Mary stored all these things in her heart.
The covid-19 pandemic was a moment of revelation for families across the world. It brought families closer and revealed the true reality of family relationship. The restrictions and the lockdown due to the pandemic revealed the strengths, the weaknesses, the vulnerability and the fragility of family relationship. It was a period of revelation and discovery. The lockdown witnessed an increase in domestic violence. Online grooming of the underage for different kinds of violence witnessed an increase. There are other forms of revelations as a result of the pandemic.
Mary is teaching us today that there is a pressing need for daily reflection of our activities especially in the family. Family values are under attack in our contemporary world. Everything we hold as sacred about the family union is under serious destructive scrutiny. The permanence of the marital union is weaker today. Rather than give in to popular non-religious opinions, our Blessed Lady is asking us look into our lives as parents. There is always a good place to start in unravelling the revelations brought about by the pandemic. In her thoughts, she put into perspective the message of the angel Gabriel at the annunciation, the prophecy of Simeon in the Temple, and the adolescent Jesus who was found with the doctors of the law in the Temple at Jerusalem. She put everything to prayer and reflection.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.