Communion of the Holy Family – Dcn. Kris Kuckelman

Dcn. Kris Kuckelman’s Homily December 27, 2020

“Today we celebrate the Holy Family, Jesus Mary and Joseph and in particular we contemplate the early years, their hidden life in Nazareth between Jesus’ infancy and the beginning of his public ministry. We call this the hidden life because we don’t know much about it from scripture, but we do know that Mary was sinless. We know that Joseph humbly accepted his role in our salvation. We know that Jesus was obedient to Mary and Joseph. We know that the Holy Family worked and prayed together. The Holy Family was in harmony and in this way the Holy Family resembles or was an icon for the Trinity, the Trinity where each person gives himself wholly without any limitation or condition whatsoever to the other. In this harmony or communion pride and self-love get checked at the door in favor of sacrificial love. This communion of the Holy Family is held up to us to emulate in our own families. If you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have that communion in my own family.’ please don’t be discouraged. You’re not alone. If that communion of the Holy Family was in our families, we wouldn’t have a need for this feast day and if sometimes you feel like you’re the only one in your family striving for that communion in your family please don’t ever give up because that’s exactly what the devil wants you to do. Even with all our warts and blemishes in our family, our families are essential to stability in our society. Centuries before social scientists and politicians recognized the contribution that families make to social order, the Church was teaching this undeniable truth. More recently Pope Benedict XVI described the family as ‘an indispensable foundation for society.’ and St. Pope John Paul II stated this, ‘As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.’ Infinitely greater than the social order that families contribute in the temporal sense is the contribution that family makes to the salvation of souls. The entire reason for the Church’s existence is the salvation of souls and each family is rightly called a domestic church. More than any institution, family members can help other family members attain salvation through growing in holiness. Through the sacraments and prayers, our words and our actions, we can help our spouses and our children, our siblings and our nephews and nieces get to Heaven and just like the ripple on a pond, that can extend to non-family members and assist them in their spiritual journey and in that way we can resemble and be an icon of the Holy Family.
Of course marriage and family are under attack in our society and we see the fallout from that everywhere and most of these attacks are caused by ignorance or despair, pride, self-love, so the question we should ask ourselves today is, ‘How do we fight back against those attacks toward the family and marriage?’ One thing we can do is be grateful for the concept of family, families generally. Another thing we can do is be grateful for our own families even with all its imperfections and another thing we can do is strive always for increasing the communion within our family. And lastly, we can always evangelize to others about the beauty and sanctity of the family. Our world needs it.”