God came to us in a Manger two millennia ago. On a solemn night the Lord of creation was born to mankind; an event that was not noticed by most of the world. Not much fanfare, just a birth in a stable with farm animals as witnesses. Shepherds, tending their flock were alerted of the event by the heavenly hosts and came to see. Magi from the east discerned this event from their studies of the stars and traveled to pay homage. A maniacal king slaughtered a region’s male children to stop this event. But as far as the citizens of area were aware – nothing was happening – another day of life.
Mary and Joseph, aware of the import of the event were still trying to live their lives. God was born to them; but He was still a baby- with the needs and demands that a baby brings. The Lord of Lords was part of their family; still they had to eat, to pay bills to worry about safety and to take care of each other.
On this feast of the Holy Family, in the Octave of Christmas, we reflect on what it means to be a family with God amongst us. We meditate on the normalness of the Holy Family’s existence and take comfort in the fact that they were able to grow in sanctity. God is among us, He walks with us in our normal routine, He is an integral part of our family – if we allow it. With His presence among us our family can weather the day to day demands and make them a growing opportunity. By putting Christ within our family experience we can find the strength to love unconditionally, to grow in sanctity and become a continuing witness to God’s gift to mankind that mostly went unnoticed two millennia ago.