Meditation for the Solemnity of the Holy Family God keeps

Meditation for the Solemnity of the Holy Family: “God keeps his promise” Vatican News German

The Jesuit Father Antoine Kerhuel introduces us to meditation with the readings for Holy Family Sunday in the liturgical year B.

Texts: Gen 15, 1-6; 21, 1-3; Psalm 104 (105), 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; Heb 11, 8,11-12,17-19; Luke 2:22-40

The last day of 2023 coincides with the Feast of the Holy Family, and it turns out that the texts of this Sunday's liturgy point us firmly toward the future. The first two readings bring us into the presence of the figure of Abraham, the one who believed in this God who promised him countless descendants and called him to leave his father's house to go to an unknown land. And the Gospel read today tells of the amazing words that two elders (Symeon and Anna) spoke about Jesus during the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple: Jesus – whose name means “God saves” – will not lead the people to a new land, but on the way to a new life… and they will do this by embarking on the amazing path of passion and resurrection. The texts of the feast we celebrate tell us clearly that the Holy Family is at the service of the new future that God is opening to the people of Israel and to all humanity.

Faith is at the heart of Abraham's journey. Abraham receives the word that takes him away from the daily life he led in the land of the Chaldeans; Then he sets off for a new country. Abraham also accepts the word that comes to him while he and his wife are old, a descendant as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. The faith that resides in Abraham is entirely focused on the future, a future that is by no means possessed a priori, but is revealed in the intimacy that he maintains with God over the course of the days, whether they are dark or light. Abraham's faith is not about an inheritance, but rather a promise. The author of the letter to the Hebrews, an excerpt of which will be read this Sunday, marvels at this faith that will enable Abraham to endure so many trials. Abraham senses it, feels it, knows it: God keeps his promise. This certainty determines his life.

Wonder is at the heart of the words of elders Simeon and Anna in the excerpt from the Gospel of Luke that they heard this Sunday. Simeon had received the assurance that he would not see death until he had seen the Messiah Israel expected. When he met the Holy Family in the Temple to present Jesus, he recognized the expected Messiah when he saw the baby Jesus and sang a song of joy. However, Simeon does not announce a Messiah who will be covered in glory according to the world, but a Messiah whose journey will be through trials; In what we understand to be an allusion to passion, Simeon says to Mary: “Your soul will be pierced with a sword.” For her part, Anna continues to proclaim the praises of God and speaks of this infant to those who wait for the Messiah. Mary and Joseph remember the powerful words they heard in the temple on the day of this presentation of Jesus. And we can assume that these words accompanied Jesus' childhood along the way.

The feast of the Holy Family is therefore an opportunity for us to reflect on the faith to which our families are called. It is a faith that is nourished by God's faithfulness to us, a faith that is focused on the future that God gives us, a faith that is filled with a promise: in Jesus God will lead us to life.

May our families radiate this faith beyond the difficulties of daily life. May each member of our family, regardless of age, flourish in the discovery of the love with which God leads each person to life. May our families grow as true house churches, mindful of embracing the promise that God makes to each person in Jesus.

Happy New Year 2024 everyone!

Follow the meditation suggested by Father Antoine Kerhuel, SJ.