Family Matters | Holy Family 2020

Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family
27 December 2020
Cathedral of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, Joliet

“Rest on the Flight into Egypt”, Luc Olivier Merson


Did St. Joseph get a real sour deal in this whole thing? Can you imagine being married to the virgin mother of God? Every single one of Joseph’s expectations for his married life was turned upside down, every single expectation except one: that God would be the center; wherever God sent them, Joseph was willing to go…even if filled with fear and trepidation.
The circumstances of family life do not determine its holiness; the circumstances are the arena where the holiness of the family is fostered and brought to fruition. Holiness is attainable in every family, no matter how “messed up” we think things have gotten.
NB – I made it sound like my mom was not supportive of my becoming a priest, or like she has only recently come around. This could not be further from the truth. The initial reservations to my going to seminary that I mention in the homily were coming from a place of understandable fear, uncertainty, and a lack of clarity about what the seminary is, what such a move would mean for our family and for me personally, and about whether or not people can really be sustainably happy in the priesthood. I did not mean to misrepresent her, which I fear my lack of clarity may have done.

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