When I reflect on the Holy Family my mind turns to the very real and very human struggles they faced…not only having to give birth in a stable but the fact that they had to flee to Egypt to avoid Herod’s execution of the children of Bethlehem and the surrounding region. It is almost inconceivable to think that God was made a refugee and had to flee to a foreign country to avoid becoming a victim of genocide. And that ultimately Mary would have her heart pierced when her Son would be executed by the state. And so Mary too understands the suffering of mothers and fathers who have lost children to war, violence and sickness.
So as we celebrate the Holy Family let us know that our God understands the struggles of human families and that “God is with us”… Emmanuel…. in the midst of our struggles. Let us know that God journeys with the migrants, refugees and immigrants of this world, just as we are called to do. So as we draw near to them we draw near to God! As we advocate and work to help our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers we do so with Christ, who knows first hand their struggles, and who works with us and shares with them on their journey. What struggling families might I be able to reach out to in order to ease their struggles? How might I be Christ to those who struggle in life?