Three Points on Family Life
December 26, 2004
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Three brief points about family life on this feast of the Holy Family. The first is: there is no carefree family life. As much as we would like it to be so, there are always pressures, always dangers, always issues that complicate and make family life difficult. This is certainly seen in today’s Gospel as we follow the Holy Family in its efforts to avoid the machinations of Herod. But each of us in our own family must deal with our own challenges and pressures—economic troubles, problems at work, misunderstanding and tensions with our in-laws, complications that come from the natural growth process as our children make their way through adolescence. There are always difficulties that press in upon us and complicate our families. These cares are a part of life.
The second point: those cares get to us; they wear us down. As much as we would like to be up and always handle those difficulties with ease, they undermine our ability to be loving, patient and kind. So we lose our patience; we say things that we regret; we act in ways that are not the best; we talk back to our parents; we overreact with our children; we are insensitive to our spouses and to those with whom we share life. The cares of life get to us.
We now come to the third and final point. Do not forget to add love. We will not always be able to avoid the insensitivities and the mistakes of family life. But what we can do when we have an opportunity is remind the people in our family that we love them. We can seize the moment when we are not embroiled in some argument, when we are not confused or impatient, and reaffirm what is true in our hearts—that we care for one another, that we are thankful for one another, that we are God’s gift to one another.
Three simple points of family life. There is no carefree family life. The cares will get to us. Do not forget to add love. In fact, add some love today.