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Catholic Diocese of Umuahia


By Fr. Francis Onwunali
Sun, 27 Dec 2020

On this last Sunday of the year and the Sunday after Christmas, we celebrate in our Liturgy the Feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph which is the focal point of the gospel reading, is the perfect model of human family. The family is the nucleus of both the civic society and ecclesiastical community because its origin is divine.
  In the first reading (Sir 3: 2-6, 12-14), taken from the Book of Sirach presents an expanded understanding of the Fourth Commandment: "Honour you father and mother". To honour one's parents demands much more than just obedience, it demands a positive and loving relationship, being willing to take care of them as they have taken care of us. In their vulnerability, Children as gift from God should be nurtured, educated both civic and religious, since each is a composite of social and spiritual being.
   In the gospel (Luke 2: 22-40), we are presented with the purification of Jesus according to the Jewish tradition. Not being able to afford the customary lamb for purification, she offered two pigeons as offering for the poor.
   Dear friends, the hallmark of human family is love which originates from the communion of love of the Blessed Trinity. "The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit" (CCC 2205). Since the family mirrors this communion of love, we should live clothed in God's love with heartfelt mercy, kindness, humility and patience.
   I pray as we journey in life today, with the Holy Family as model, we will learn to bear with one another and to forgive each other as God has forgiven us in Christ. Actually, the experience of the family is called to become a daily offertory, as a holy offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance. May we work towards restoring the dignity and nature of human family in our society, for when the family values are eroded, the society collapses. "Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, dwell in you as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with gratitude in your hearts (Col. 3: 16). Have a family day full of LOVE!

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