By: Rev. Fr. Ameh Sylvanus

Readings: 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28; Psalm 83; 1 John 3:1-2,21-24; Luke 2:41-52

Points for Reflection

👉🏽Samuel (1st Reading) and Jesus (Gospel) had their first contact with the place of worship when their parents took them there. The family must be the first meeting point between children and God and Christian parents must strive to make this happen. Teach your children about God, introduce them to God from their earliest days. Do not wait till they get old, else, if they miss that foundation, they may never be able to build it again (cf Proverbs 22:6).

👉🏽No family is without its own uniqueness and challenges. Elkanah and Hannah were rich, but they begged God for a child for a long time before they had Samuel. Joseph and Mary were poor, but they Mary conceived of Jesus even before they came to be together. Neither their childless state (parents of Samuel) nor their poverty (parents of Jesus) could tear them apart. Our own families too will have challenges that may be heavy on us. We must never let them break our homes. In the long run, God always comes to the aid of those who are faithful to him (cf. Ps 34:19).

👉🏽Parents, let your children see you supporting each other, especially in moments of crisis. Elkanah supported Hannah through her childless years. Joseph and Mary were together as they looked for Jesus. Scripture does not record that one spouse was hostile to the other or abandoned the other. We have parents today who behave like Adam and Eve, blaming each other for any and every of their troubles, abandoning each other in the process. This must not be so. I wonder how Jesus would have felt if it was only Joseph or only Mary who came looking for him. Parents, share your responsibilities together, be pillars of support for each other, and let your children see this in you.
Whatever comes your way as a family, you’re in it together.

👉🏽Celebrating the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph reminds us of our common fraternity under God. We are all God’s children, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We ought to look past our dividing lines of tribe, color, religion, social status and see that we were all created in God’s image and likeness. When we pray “The Lord’s Prayer”, we all together call God “Our Father.” This is a call for us to pull down the walls of division existing between us and others, and build bridges of friendship and fraternity in their stead (Gal 3:28).

May the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph continually intercede for our own families, especially in moments of crisis. Amen