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sisto-badalocchio-the-holy-familyToday the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. As the earthly parents of the Christ child, Mary and Joseph provide the perfect parenting models. Their commitment and obedience to God, exemplify the spirit of love for Christ that guided their lives.

When Mary wondered how it could be that she would be with child, the Angel of the Lord told her that the child would be of the Holy Spirit. Mary responded with trust and obedience (cf. Lk 1:26-38).

Joseph so deeply honored and loved Mary that he was unwilling to subject her to public humiliation So he chose instead to quietly dismiss her. When the angel assured Joseph that the baby was of God, he responded with trust and obedience. He spent his life protecting and supporting the Holy Family (cf. Mt 1:18-25).

Mary and Joseph certainly modeled this faithful behavior throughout their lives. They were humble and their singular purpose in life was to serve God. Husbands and wives today would do well to imitate the honor, love and devotion that Mary and Joseph had for their family, as well as their wholehearted trust and obedience in God.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his Angelus address on the Feast of the Holy Family in 2009 said:

God had chosen to reveal himself by being born into a human family and the human family thus became an icon of God! God is the Trinity, he is a communion of love; so is the family despite all the differences that exist between the Mystery of God and his human creature, an expression that reflects the unfathomable Mystery of God as Love.[1]

The family is an icon of the Trinity because of its interpersonal love and the fruitfulness of this love. Jesus was the center of the Holy Family. He is to be the center of our families if we wish to grow in holiness. Christ-centered families strive to support each other in living out the call to holiness with joy in the modern world.

As a model for all families, the Holy Family shows us how to love each other, sacrifice for each other, bear each other’s burdens and always forgive each other. Family life rooted in prayer, along with participation in the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation, will provide the graces needed to live out the example of the Holy Family.


Jesus, Mary and Joseph, please help all families live joyfully and fruitfully their call to family life.

[1] Benedict XVI, Angelus, St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 27 December 2009; internet: http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/angelus/2009/documents/hf_ben-xvi_ang_20091227.html (accessed December 29, 2016).