Feast of the Holy Family
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: December 30, 2018
A Japanese magazine had a picture of a butterfly on one of its pages, that was a dull grey, until someone puts their hand on it. Then the warmth of the hand causes the special printing inks to react and the dull grey is transformed into flashing colours.
What other things can be transformed by the warmth of your love and your touch? How about your family? Or your place of work? Or the place where you study? Or your parish?
The world is hungry for the warmth and touch of someone who cares – who really cares.
First Letter of John says, “Beloved: see what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God.” The children of God. Then we should have the warmth of the love of God. We are to touch one another with the warmth of someone who really cares.
The hardest and most important thing that most do in life is family life. Forming a healthy loving family is really hard. If we are honest, most of us have somewhat dysfunctional families, there are things that we admit are not so good. Obviously, because families are formed by human beings, who are sinners, sometimes selfish, sometimes insensitive… So, our families are not so perfect, not so holy, we certainly do not see our families as being compared to the Holy Family.
Yet, God places children in the care of families. Trusts children to human families. So, we need to do the best we can with what we have in our families. The first step is that I put God first. For when I love and obey God first, then I will become the best parent, the best child, the best sibling. For when I love and obey God then I will be honest, I will be committed, I will be faithful, I will keep promises, I will care about others, I will forgive. All of the things required for good, healthy family life. There is a poem that many of you may have already seen before, but I will share it today because it reflects a spirit that is important in all family life.
“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn . . .
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight . . .
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive . . .
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself . . .
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy . . .
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel envy . . .
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty …
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient . . .
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident . . .
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative . . .
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love . .
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves..
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is . . .
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice . . .
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him . .
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.
The human family, the church family and each of our individual families are in need of people who bring the warmth of love, who bring the touch of someone who really cares.