Jesus chose family. He chose to come to earth in a manner that necessitated relationships. He was born as a baby. The majority of his life – the first 30 years – was spent among his family. He grew up in a small town, surrounded by his parents and relatives.
As the all-powerful God, he didn’t have to do that. He could have brought about our salvation any way he wanted. But God’s existence is rooted in relationship, rooted in love. God is a single being comprised of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three eternal persons are united in perfect love.
God created us to participate in his love. To be loved by him and love him in return, and to share his love with our family. We often do this less than perfectly. In today’s readings for the Feast of the Holy Family, we learn how to love each other.
In the first reading we hear about the importance of adult children honoring our parents. In the second reading, St. Paul gives direction and guidance on how husbands and wives should love each other. And the Gospel relates an episode between the child Jesus and his parents.
As I read through these stories and wisdom, I feel the undercurrents of conflict and tension that are inevitable in family relationships. I’m reminded of the dynamic I sometimes wish I could avoid. But I’m also reminded: Jesus chose this.
It’s hard, it’s complicated, but it’s so worth it. Family is what we live for. The love and joy and heartache give meaning to our lives. Above all, by loving our family, we prepare our hearts to love God. We practice virtue and holiness that draw us closer to him.
Jesus didn’t need family, but he chose it, with all its ups and downs. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.
Today, love your family with a Christ-like love. Love them as if you chose them.
Sara Estabrooks, author at To Jesus, Sincerely invites you to pray and reflect along with her on her blog. Together, we can lift our hearts and minds to God, seeking to walk the path of holiness He sets before us.