Homily For First Sunday Of Christmas (Year, C)

The Holy Family Of Nazareth: The Christian Model

Readings: 1st: Sir 3, 2-6. 12-14; Ps: 127, 1-15; 2nd: Col 3, 12-21; Gos: Lk 2, 42-52

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

On this the first Sunday of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Holy Family of Nazareth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We live in a time when the family institution is under a serious threat. The family, the nucleus of the human society appear to be “an endangered specie.”

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Today, the church invites us to emulate the Holy family as our model. So, all the readings of this Sunday are carefully selected instructions for a Christian family, and the duty of each member of the family. This is in order to maintain the sanctity of the family.

The first reading from Sirac calls children to be obedient to their parents: “He who honors his mother is like someone amassing a fortune. Whoever respects his father will be happy with his own children.” So, in a good Christian family, children respect and obey their parents. When they do, a blessing follows them as Paul tells us in Eph 6, 1-2.

In the second reading, Paul outlined the virtues needed in a Christian family: “You should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and in humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins.” In a Christian family, each member knows his duty and responsibility.

In today’s gospel, Luke narrates how the parents of Jesus played their role in his upbringing. They accompanied him until he was mature to take care of himself. They provided for his material needs. They also made sure that they brought him up in faith by presenting him to God at the appropriate time.

Today’s gospel also reminds us that problems and obstacles are inevitable in a family. However, if the members remain united and courageous, they will definitely overcome any obstacle and challenge that comes to them. When Jesus’ parents thought he was lost, together, they looked for him, and found him. As parents, they played their role well.

Joseph is a role model for all fathers. He protected and provided for both Mary and Jesus. Mary also played her role very well by providing the maternal love that their son needed as he grew up. On his part, Jesus was not disobedient or problematic. He understood the difficulties that faced his family.

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In a Christian family, if each member plays his role well, the family grows. If the husband loves and respects his wife and children, he wins their favor. If the mother respects the father, and nurtures her children, the family will be a better place. If children obey and respect their parents, they are blessed.

A Christian family is, a family modeled after the Holy Family of Nazareth. It is a family ordained by God. It is made up of the father, the mother, and Children (when it pleases God). It is a family that stays and prays together. It is a family where children are educated and brought up with love, sincerity, dignity and authenticity.

It is a family where each member is valued and respected. It is a family where difficulties are peacefully and prayerfully resolved through dialogue. The model of every good Christian family is the holy family of Nazareth. So, let us pray: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Pray for us.

Peace be with you!


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