Consecrate Your Family – Fr. Mohan Bathineni

Fr. Mohan Bathineni’s Homily December 26, 2021

“Dear friends in Jesus in the Gospel, we find child Jesus among the teachers of the law in the Temple of Jerusalem, asking them questions and answering their questions. People around are said to be astounded that he has wisdom, knowledge and understanding. How come he’s so wise, he has to question the teachers of the law by the age of 12? Where does he get all his understanding and knowledge from? It is because Mary and Joseph spend quality time with him every day teaching, molding and guiding him through his childhood. And his part child Jesus also spends his time with his parents learning and growing in wisdom. In fact, he spends more time with his parents than he does with the public. The Gospels tell us that for every one hour, Jesus spends his time with people in public, he spends 10 hours in the family with his parents. How much time do we give our children today and how much of it is used for the teaching faith and morals? According to the word of God time is the best gift we can give our families and families that spend time teaching their children faith and morals, become happy families and holy families, says the Bible. Today, most of us hesitate to correct our children’s behavior, thinking our correction will hurt their feelings, but look at Mary in today’s Gospel. When child Jesus remains behind in Jerusalem after Passover and does not follow his parents to Nazareth. Made does not keep quiet thinking that a correction will be hurting child Jesus. She corrects him saying, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? You are a father and I have been looking for you in great anxiety.’ She corrects her son, but her correction shows her love and concern are not authority in power.

Dear friends in Jesus, corrections done in love lead to betterment while those done with the power and authority lead to estrangement. Families, that question and correct in love become happy families and holy families. One thing always fascinates me about today’s Gospel child Jesus is lost in Jerusalem and found only after five days of intensive search by his family, but the church does not look at the losing part, but always at the finding part, and this is the reason why we have this incident in the joyful ministries of the Rosary. Yes, the finding the child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem. It can very well be in the sorrowful ministries. Yes, the losing of child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, but the church does not want to look at the negative past, but always at the positive part and that is the reason why we have this incident in the joyful ministries, not in the sorrowful ministries. And there is a great lesson for all families here. There is not a single family that is perfect here in this world. Every family has its own struggles and sorrows. Every member of the family has his own and our own strengths and weaknesses, but families should always look at the positive side of their members and never at their negative side. Positive thinking builds up families while negative thinking ruins them.  Families that learn to look at the positive side of their members become happy families and holy families. St. Paul tells us, ‘Clothe yourself with kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and, most of all, love.’ If we follow these instructions of St. Paul, how different would our family life and be? Take a moment today and think of your family life over the past 12 months. Think of everything that you went through. Ask yourself this question today. How much of what I went through could have been avoided if only I had been kind, humble, meek, patient, forgiving and loving. Families that follow St. Paul’s instructions today become happy families and holy families. ‘Blessed are those who fear the Lord,’ says David in today’s responsorial psalm. What does fear of God mean? It does not mean we have to be scared of God. In fact, we have no reason whatever to be scared of your loving father. Fear of God simply means reverencing God in such a way as not to hurt him by our life. Families that fear God always become happy families and holy families. Our prayer today is Heavenly Father, help our families emulate the Holy Family, of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Amen.

After this mass, the Knights of Columbus will give us these prayer cards in the gathering area. Please take them home and pray them every day. This prayer helps to you consecrate your family to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Now we do this prayer together and response is going to be. We entrust our family to you. We entrust our family to you. O Lord Jesus, you lived in the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. There you grew in age, wisdom and grace as you prepared to fulfill your mission as our redeemer. Your response, we entrust our family to you. O Blessed Mary, you are the mother of our savior. At Nazareth you cared for Jesus and nurtured him in the peace, and joy of your home. We entrust our family to you. O St. Joseph You who provided a secure and loving home for Jesus and Mary and gave us the model of fatherhood while showing us the dignity of work. We entrust our family to you. Let us pray, holy family, we consecrate ourselves and our family to you. May we be completely united in your love that is lasting, faithful and open to the gift of new life. Help us to grow in virtue to forgive, one another from our hearts and to live in the peace of our days. Keep us strong in faith, persevering in prayer, diligent in work and generous towards those in need. May our home, O Holy Family, truly become a domestic church where we reflect your example in our daily life. Amen. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.”