Holy Family 2020


This feast is one which I treasure because for me it is another entry point into the Spiritual Life.
The further we find ourselves away from the actual birth of Jesus into our world, the more it can tend to become an event of the past rather than an ongoing reality.
Yes, in Jesus, the human race became aware in a new and very concrete way, that the presumed division between the holy and the profane had been bridged.
To know that growing in the Spiritual Life is a normal, everyday, experience….that we don’t have it all together at any point in our lives….that wisdom is something that continually grows in us when we seek it is a beautiful reality to remember.
The two characters of Simeon and Anna remind us, we must keep searching for God…
Jesus reminds us, that even though we may be young, holiness is near and we all make mistakes.
It seems so hard for us with our western dual minds to see our mistakes as part of our holiness We call them sin, which seems to separate us from our very self…
Yet anyone who looks back on our own lives or knows or has seen a child grow up knows full well that growing up is anything but a straight line from birth to maturity….
When Jesus was born….the world once again was reminded that even our failures are a part of the journey.
Human life is holy…why because it is all a part of the experience of being human….if human life was not holy, God could have never become one with us. Yet that is the very crux of the unique claim of Christianity.
This Feast of Holy Family is precisely a point at which we can glimpse into real everyday human life, with the rituals we celebrate in whatever faith we live, or whatever circumstance we came into our world.
If we allow ourselves I bet we could point out the Simeon’s and the Anna’s that have been in our lives….those who have helped us to realize our fullest potential…even when we could not see it ourselves.
As we celebrate this Feast I am going to invite us to reflect this coming week on those who have shown up in our lives and encouraged us to live into your best self. Who has enlivened your journey? And don’t forget, sometimes those insights come from people who help us to realize what we do not want to be as well. Sacred Scripture often refers to them as “enemies”, yet I think sometimes they cause us to grow as much as those who befriend us.
The only way to grow in wisdom, age, and grace is to allow ourselves to experience the fullness of what being human is. We must embrace our shadow in order to be able to see our light. The whole human experience is holy, it just may not always feel like it.
Yet as Paul encourages the Colossian community, we are encouraged as well. To put on the clothing of heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, and gentleness, not only with others but also with ourselves.
Remember Jesus said: You are the light of the world…let it shine!