>Holy Family!


Michelangelo, “The Holy Family”

What perfect timing, of course!
I love this feast, its a reminder to me that even Christ got to, had to, live in a family.  
Think about that one…..
Now his family was all holy and everything, true…but even so, it’s a great example.  Heck, we have sports stars that we look up to and try to be as good as they are (for the most part, at least when we are talking about their skills of endurance and perseverance and practice, right?).  So, that’s one of the great things about the saints and feast days, they are like the posters kids put up in bedrooms…heroes to emulate, gaze at and wonder and dream.  
So today I have put up the gorgeous  painting by Michelangelo, I got to see it in person this summer at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  Just wow!  This is the heroic icon of family.  The holy family, I could just look at it all day long.  
But the really cool part about all of this, is that WE are called to be like them.  Really.  We are called to be, in our own little (or big) families, the domestic church.  Which is just the coolest thing to me.  We are supposed to model that love that faithfulness that care and keeping of each other…because that’s what families do.  It can take different forms for the different needs and concerns of each family, of course.  But the basics remain.  We care for each other to our best ability, because we are family.  Just like the Holy Family did.  If we shoot for that, we are on the right track.  Which is helpful to remember as I correct my fast growing (in size and temper) son and he stomps up the stairs and shouts that I am “despicable.”  {Yes, he’s got a heck of a temper, but his vocabulary is impressive!}
So as we/I all recover from the excess and crazies of Christmas day {and hand out ‘write-offs’ to the kids who are having fall apart syndrome from too much muchness yesterday}, and review in our mind the sweetnesses of this holiday {sleeping toddlers breathing against your neck at midnight Mass} and the irritants {maybe even Jesus had an annoying distant uncle made Mary roll her eyes at the dinner table}….I need to keep this in mind:
It’s not just something we endure or that imposes chores….
it’s what our deepest hearts long for.  
Because it’s holy.
From Evening Prayer for this day:
Father, help us to live as the holy family,
united in respect and love.  
Bring us to the joy and peace of your eternal home.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, forever and ever.