See How They Love One Another

Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph by FAN board member, Br. Paul Crawford, OFM Cap.

This reflection was originally posted in our December 23rd newsletter

Our concept and understanding of ‘family’ changes over the years due to many factors, one example being our cultural background. The older I’ve gotten, the more my memories and feelings have changed or perhaps a better way of saying that would be, they ‘have evolved.’ To many of us, our understanding comes from comparing our family to the family that American Culture shows us in and through our media and social connections. Living and working with a cross cultural parish and people from different and various financial conditions has brought me to a point of understanding. My family might have some flaws, but not as much as other families. Family life can be challenging and family is an invitation from God that can bring us to many places we would rather not go.

So, to all of us in the pews this week, our understanding of family is a little different from each other. So, let’s now see through this week’s readings how God intended it to be.

Sunday’s Gospel tells us about Joseph having a dream and hearing that he must take his family and flee. Can you imagine having a dream like this and responding right away by taking those who you want to protect to a safe place? For some of us, this story reflects our family’s journey to where we are today. We might not be fleeing from a King, but we did travel for a better place, or a better opportunity.

So, hang on because the invitation or challenge from God that we find in the second reading from the Letter to the Colossians is even more difficult to hear and to do. God is speaking to us to put aside our old selves and to live as a new person by submitting and changing how we speak and react to one another. God’s call is to do this as a member of a family as well as a member of our Faith Community and even, (I know this is a real challenge) in our political and civic dialogues.

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM says it so well, that in community there is friction. But it is a fact that friction is the foundation of the community, or the family. We grow together as a people when we can listen and understand our differences because then we can agree on common ground, common purpose, and a common place that is safe, secure and understanding. Love above all makes us of one mind and heart. It surely makes us into a holier family and community and offers us the chance to hear once again, “See how they love one another.”

Br. Paul Crawford, OFM Cap.
FAN Board Member

Published in: on December 24, 2019 at 10:28 am  Leave a Comment  

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