Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Homily - Feast of the Holy Family - January 10, 2016

Col. 3:12-17; Lk. 2:42-52

It is a tenet of our faith that our Lord was not only born at a time and in a place, but that by His birth and incarnation has entered into all our humanity, except sin, which He nevertheless took upon Himself to redeem us.  The feasts following Christmas show us how, in the Presentation, He entered into the Old Testament law, in His circumcision, into the faith of Abraham, and its promises, which He fulfills, last Sunday, in the feast of the Holy Name, that He was given a name.  God has a name.  We can know Him, enter in to a relationship with Him, call upon Him.  Now, we see that so completely did out Lord, in His divinity, enter into our humanity, that He was born into a family.

It is not simply out of human need or the natural course of things that our Lord was born into a family.  But God trusts the family.  The family is the place where love is present, where children are nurtured.  It is where we first hear our name.  It is where we become the people we are.  And so it is that our Lord was loved, nurtured, and, as the Gospel says, was subject to them at the home in Nazareth, and advanced in wisdom, age, and grace.  God trusts the family, so much so that He entrusted to it His Only Begotten Son, He entrusted to it the whole mission of redemption which He gave to us in His Son.

The Gospel gives us the big Church and the little church, which is the family.  We see the Lord in the temple, and He is in the midst of the temple, in the midst of the doctors.  We can see with our mind’s eye, the Lord in the midst of the home at Nazareth, with Mary and Joseph.  The Epistle helps us to understand the connection.  St. Paul is giving an instruction to the newly-baptized Colossians, in which he recounts the community virtues, the way we treat each other in the community, “the elect of God:”  mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience.  They are also the family virtues.  St. Paul says the bond of perfection is charity, the love which characterizes the big Church and the little church of the home.  He says always be thankful.  Thankful, in the Greek, is eucharistoi.  It is a reference to the Eucharist, the Mass, through which we give perfect worship to God through His Son, and He gives us His real presence, body, blood, soul, and divinity.  The center of the big Church is the Eucharist.  The center of the little church is another sacrament, marriage.  Christ is present in the larger Church, Christ is present in the Christian home.  God trusts the family.  God loves the family.

The Gospel today gives us a clue to something which we do not think of often, but which is pure gift to us.  It is true that there are many challenges to the family, from outside, but also, sometimes, from within.  Today, we see a critical moment.  Mary and Joseph have lost track of our Lord, they find Him, and He gives them this mysterious response.  It is a moment where a parent does not understand their child.  And this happens, and this happened in the Holy Family.  At the annunciation, Mary did not understand the angel, but as soon as she was certain that it was of God, she gave the full internal consent of her faith.  Joseph did not understand Mary.  It was the angel in a dream who assured Him that the child was of God, and he should take Mary as his wife.  Persecution broke out.  They had to flee Herod in the night, and move to another country.  All this is for us, because, yes, there are challenges to the family, from outside and, sometimes, from within.  And yet we see how the Holy Family was led by the grace at each moment, and the light to take the very next step, and God’s purpose and plan was perfectly fulfilled in them.  And so it is today.  The strength of the family is the presence of Christ.  And being led by Him, and the virtues St. Paul comments to us, the home is the little church, our families are holy, and God’s purpose and plan is fulfilled in us.