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“When the Bible says holy it means ‘separate’ or ‘different.’ The word implies being healthy and whole in a world where much is un-healthy and fragmented. The English phrase ‘hale and hearty’ sums up true holiness. Holiness includes such concepts as humor and laughter, compassion and understanding, and the capacity to forgive and be forgiven, to love and be loved. That’s holiness. Holy families are not free from conflict, nor do they never hurt one another. Holiness in families, rather, comes from learning to forgive and to be reconciled, and learning to face our problems and do something about them. In family life, holy means striving to surrender to God’s light within us when the darkness around us seems overwhelming. It means struggling day after day to bring creative order—if only a bit of it—to the chaos in our lives. When we work at cultivating forgiveness, reconciliation, and community, we embody God’s holy will in the context of family life.”
–“Is Your Family Holy?” Mitch Finley, Catholic Digest, Jan. 1993
Is YOUR family holy?
Read this passage out loud. Take a moment of silence and think about THE Holy Family, Mary and Joseph and Jesus. Think about what we know about them from Scripture, and what we imagine their lives together might have been like. Think about Mary, crying at her Son’s cross, or Joseph, waking up in the middle of the night to lead his wife and child to safety in Egypt. Think about Mary and Joseph’s worry when Jesus goes to the temple and they can’t find him. Think about Jesus learning carpentry from his dad, going to work with him in the mornings and coming home at night for dinner.
Go around in a circle and have each person say a prayer to Mary and Joseph to bless your family with holiness this Advent season, and to take away all the things between your family members that cause arguments, conflict, fighting, or unhappiness. Say a prayer of thanks that you are blessed with a family when many people are alone this season.