Our Holy Families

12-31-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. Our gaze shifts from the center of the nativity scene—Jesus—to contemplate Mary and Joseph close to Him. The eternal Son of the Father goes from the eternal family, which is the Holy Trinity, to the earthly family formed by Mary and Joseph. How important the family must be in the eyes of God when the first thing He provides for His Son is a family!

Saint John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae or The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, highlighted once again the crucial importance of the family as the foundation of the Church and human society, asked us to pray for families and to pray as a family with the Holy Rosary to revitalize this institution. If the family is doing well, both society and the Church will do well. Strong, faith-filled families are critical to having a healthy culture.

We would do well to remember too, how Joseph protected his family. King Herod was about to search and destroy children who might be rival kings, so Joseph gathered his family and made the perilous trip into Egypt. From this we know that fathers must faithfully protect their families: from an increasingly Godless secular society; from the invasion of pornography into our homes and from secular leaders with questionable values.

The Gospel tells us that the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. Jesus found the warmth of a family that was built through their mutual relationships of love. How beautiful and beneficial it would be if we strived more and more to build our families: with a spirit of service and prayer, with mutual love, with a greater capacity to understand and forgive. We would taste—like in the home of Nazareth— heaven and earth!

Building the family is today one of the most urgent tasks. Parents, as Vatican Council II reminded, play an irreplaceable role here: “Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the wellrounded personal and social education of children is fostered.” In the family, we learn the most important thing: how to be people of God.

Finally, to talk about family for Christians is to talk about the Church. The evangelist Saint Luke tells us that Jesus' parents took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. That offering was a figure of Jesus' sacrificial offering to the Father, from which Christians are born. Considering this joyful reality will open us to greater unity within the body of Christ and lead us to treasure the Church even more.

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson