Today, the parish will renew its Consecration to the Holy Family. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Family, we recall the self-sacrificial love and devotion that each member of the Holy Family paid to the others. Each one wanted to do the will of God alone, and that brought a peace and perseverance to the family’s life. They were not economically well off and certainly seemed to be ready to move at the drop of a hat or the word of an angel, and so we ask for the same grace in our families to always be docile to the movements of God in our family life.
My dear brothers and sisters, the nuclear family continues to be under attack. Be very careful with organizations in the secular world who want to “equalize” and “reform” family life. Many of these groups, under the hood, are advocating for the end of the nuclear family, the removal of the roles of father and mother, and even advocating for “neighborhood parenting.” Society is founded on the nuclear family, and every child has a natural right to a mother and a father who are known to him/her. Spouses have the moral obligation to live a common life. In fact, the most severe cause of degenerate and aberrant behavior in civil society these days is tracked back to fatherlessness. We cannot be a culture of decency, love, and purpose when children lack their fathers.
Dear men of the parish, in the New Year, rededicate yourselves to being men of God! Pray daily for your own sanctification and holiness. Make the changes necessary in your life to respond to your most important vocation as husband and father. If you have made mistakes with your spouse and/or children, don’t try to force the reconciliation, but begin to mount your plan. This includes first of all what you must change in your life, the sacrifices that you must suffer in order to make your heart trustworthy again. The next part is the humbling part: seek reconciliation not for yourself, but so that your loved ones can know the freedom of reconciliation. This is a huge change of mindset. Seek reconciliation not to alleviate your own guilt, but so that your own family members can be free of that chain that binds them.
Dear families, thank you for your “yes” in striving to live out your family life with an extraordinary bent toward holiness. It is all too easy to become discouraged in our world and our neighborhoods when we look at the families around us and they live so differently from our own households of faith. Are we backwards people? No. We are forward facing people, but so forward facing that we see the rich inheritance given to those who live for heavenly reward. We don’t look simply to the next purchase, party, birthday, holiday, or festivity. We recognize that all of these worldly joys can be used to point us toward the ternal joy of heaven. “But, Father! Everyone else is doing ______________.” It’s okay, my children. Live by faith, not by fancy. Pray daily (the Rosary if you can) as a family; continue coming to church; take the family regularly for confession. Read the stories of the saints to your children. Discuss the Sunday readings. You have a dining room table: use it often. Don’t be distracted by what the world tells you your family needs to be successful. Your love for each other is the ultimate harbor of peace and serenity. “May our home, O Holy Family, truly become a domestic church.”