A picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus together in the stable turns our thoughts to family life. We call this day the Feast of the Holy Family, but on this day, going beyond Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we thank God for what wonderful things our families can be.
The First Reading from the Book of Sirach supplies us with a grand list of benefits that come to those who are good family persons. They atone for their sins, and are helped at avoiding sins. When they pray they are heard. They store up riches in heaven. They, in their turn, will be gladdened by others. They will live long lives.
Those rewards are particularly meant for young people. But what family life can old people have? Well, instead of grieving over being neglected, they must get out of their selves. They must restore family cheer to others who are alone.
Once when someone standing nearby told Jesus that members of his family were waiting to see him, Jesus told them that his family was very large. He said it included all men and women, old and young, who attempt to live according to God’s law.
Look around you. All the people you see are God’s children. He loves this one, that one, and that one too. He appreciates it no end when you become a brother or sister to any lonely ones who are his children.