Family! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.
Some of our greatest blessings from God are our family members. At the same time, some of our most challenging and difficult relationships are with family members. This is a common feeling at this time of year. Stress associated with the holidays can often divide families over the silliest reasons. If we listen to the advice of St. Paul in today’s second reading, (Colossians 3:12-21) we may be able to ensure our relationships are pure gift and no amount of torture.
St. Paul starts by affirming the love God has for each of us and then proceeds to tell us to focus on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Whenever we accept the love God has for us, it is much easier to “put on” the loving traits which will help us to forgive, heal and “let the peace of Christ control” our hearts.
These virtues which St Paul lists call us to assess our family life in comparison to the perfect model for family, the Holy Family. It is within this context, the family, the domestic church, that we set the pattern for the future. Can you recognize the pattern of life for your own family? Is it based on today’s reading or some type of worldly agenda?
The family is the best place to form these virtues as it is the where today’s child first learns to know and love God. Advent gave us the opportunity to assess our lives, learn more and recognize all of us as being His children. Have you opted to continue to feel the family stress that is so prominent when one lives according to the world? Or, are you choosing to accept Jesus born anew in your heart?