EXCERPT FROM HOMILIES DURING THE NOVENA AND FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH (PART I) – JESUS: THE HEART OF THE FAMILY
This week we shall recap and reflect on the “Homilies on Family” shared by “sons of our parish” during the Novena and Feast of St Joseph, the Worker (24th April – 3rd May, 2015).
We long to live in a perfect family setting but families today are facing major challenges, trials and tests of faith. The institution of the family is in danger today. Many families are finding themselves fragmented, hurting, depressed and in danger of breaking up. Divorce is on the rise, affecting society and the community. Family members are hurting in silence.
Why do today’s families go off-track? Some areas to ponder and re-examine:-
* Are we committed to slow down, to listen, to reflect on the Word of God, to re-examine our conscience; to take time to come together as a family to pray?
* What is our identity as a Christian family? There are times we lose our identity as children of God. We forget our Christ-centred roles as husbands and wives, parents and children to build up family, church and the community; may lead to rebellious tendencies and even separation! * Family members find it increasingly hard to talk and to enjoy each other’s presence; not even during meal times (be it only once a week!), as the use of modern day gadgets has crept into family life, threatening to disrupt the bond and sanctity of family life.
* Lack of charity, compassion and understanding. We gossip and point out the wrongdoings within family members and neighbours to justify ourselves. It is hard to love our spouses, our children, our neighbours when we insist on being right; we react, with dire consequences!
* Married couples are not serious when it comes to marriage promises. Spouses fail to be content with the ten good qualities they see in their spouses and children and are tempted to be unfaithful.
* Many of our families do not take their faith seriously – e.g. parents of Catechism students are not serious in ensuring proper attendance during Catechism classes; Ensuring family participation in the Eucharist will help uphold the sanctity of the family.
Today, more than ever, the Church needs “genuine Christian families” as role models and examples of Hope and Perseverance to weather these challenging times. We must stay together as a church (BEC) community rooted in Christ – for today’s family to emerge strong and purified in these trying times.
Even though there was a special grace about them, the Holy Family themselves were not perfect. They too had their share of troubled moments, doubts and misunderstandings. Being human, Joseph and Mary also failed in some way as parents but they remained faithful. We can’t expect to be a perfect family, but like the Holy Family, we can pick ourselves up again and journey on.
Because of Joseph’s and Mary’s love for Jesus, they went against all odds, suffering and persecutions and yet lived a holy life. Let us never tire to follow in the footsteps of the Holy Family and make our families to be truly strong and holy today.