Sunday within the Octave of Christmas: Feast of the Holy Family
When God created human kind, He made them in His image and likeness, male and female He created them. Then God commanded that a man shall leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one. Since God is love, the love of husband and wife on this earth becomes the living image of God who is love, and marriage becomes the natural school of Love. Husband and wife beget children and form a family, a community of love. At the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, God manifested himself as three divine persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and in the Gospel of John 14:15 we hear Jesus say, “If you love me and keep my commandments, I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate who will always be with you, the Spirit of Truth…” The Three Persons in One God make up a Divine Community of Love. The human family on earth becomes the living image of the Triune God, a community of love. This is our faith in the Catholic Christian Church.
It is, therefore, important that we reconsider our concept of Christian marriage and family. Even Catholic Christians often enter into marriage with pagan ideas of simply satisfying human instincts and with other purposes in mind. They make marriage only as a status symbol, or as means to enrich oneself, or to enter a higher rank in society. The divine purpose of marriage and family is distorted and forgotten.
Many consequences follow this distorted concept of marriage and family. The first, of course, is to find easy way out by divorce. Then, a child is no longer a gift from God but a burden to parents, another mouth to feed, not a citizen for heaven. The birth control and RH Law are promoted; and worst, the union of the same sex is called marriage. (cf. Lev 18:22/ 20:13; Rom 1:24-32; Mal 2:13-16). Recently, President Duterte announced that he will allow same sex marriage. In many occasions Pres. Duterte declared that he is fighting drug addiction to preserve and protect the future generation of Filipinos. But what future generation is there in same sex marriage? Does he think before he speaks?
In the early years of the Church, Satan tried to destroy her by killing the believers in Christ. Many martyrs shed their blood for Christ, starting with the stoning of St. Stephen. Then the Romans beheaded and crucified many Christians. Islam slaughtered many more Christians as the ISIS still do today in Syria and Iraq. Catholic Christians shed their blood for Christ. In our days, Satan uses another strategy to destroy the Church, i.e., hedonism. Husband and wife seek each one’s pleasure and convenience; though already married, each pursues his or her own desires and ambitions. The husband has his own group of friends with whom he spends more time than with his family; and the wife in turn seeks her own fulfillment as a career woman sacrificing quality time with the children. The serious consequence is the frequency of quarrels that cause trauma for the children. The victims of this situation are the children who do not receive the care nor the love of the parents. Then the easy solution of separation or divorce is sought.
Where now is God’s plan that THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE? And that THE FAMILY IS TO BECOME A COMMUNITY OF LOVE?
When we pursue this mentality, Satan dances for joy: “I won, I won!” he exclaims. Why? Because God’s plan has been destroyed and because, just as the family is the basic unit of society, so too the family is the basic unit of the Church. If the family dies, the Church dies as well.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us look at the stable in Bethlehem. Let us look at the Holy Family and ask Jesus to make our families like his family, to make it a community of love as the Father has planned it. Let us recover the true notion of love: namely, the giving of self for the good of the other as Jesus gave himself up for me, not my self-satisfaction but the satisfaction of my beloved, my self-control for the good of my beloved, my self-discipline for the growth of my loved ones.Jesus gave up his divinity and became one of us so that we can become like him. God became man so that we humans can become sons and daughters of God. The Master of the universe came to us becoming a slave, so that we who are slaves can be lifted up to become sharers of his dignity and divinity. And his road to that end is LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU! Let the love of Christ reign in our families.