Historians tell us the Herod, the King at the time of Jesus’ birth, was one messed up dude.
Although he is famous for great architectural works, like the re-model of the Temple, he is infamous for the murders/assassinations that he committed.
He killed his own wife, and some of own children, all to protect what he thought was power. Some family man.
Of course, he is contrasted with Joseph in the Gospel, a man who has changed his life for the good of his family. A man willing to move to a foreign land for his family.
A man who trusted in God. He is some family man.
We all know that although most of us do not get to chose our family, we do get to chose who we live as family. And we know that it is not easy. Family life is a micro-cosm of what it means to be Christian/Catholic. It involves the members to make choices and actions that benefit all; it requires giving of self.
Family is formed when husbands and wives, children and extended family are willing to change their dreams, their goals, and their desires for the good of each other.
At the heart, the core, Family is formed by wives, husbands, children who chose to love each other. That is right, Love is a choice. Love is the choice to see goodness in others. The emotion flows out from that, but it begins with each us of seeing the good, and potential for good in others. When we say God loves us, this is what mean. God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sees the good in each individual and the potential for good in each individual.
God desires that good to be expressed and lived.
Thus the Father sent to us the beloved Son, who showed us how to Love and how to be the good persons we are created to be. The family is the place where we learn how to love.
Children need to witness that love between their parents. They need to see how parents can disagree, yet choose to compromise with each other; each giving to the other.
Children need to have parents that give them time; who teach them the value of saying yes to giving of self; who teach them that selfishness will not make them happy.
Children, you need to learn. What will make you truly happy in life, what will bring you more contentment is learning how to communicate, how to love.
The foundation of Church and society is based upon how well families truly love. We as a parish can teach your children the information about catholicism; the name of the 7 sacraments, the 10 commandments, the difference between mortal and venial sins; etc. We can even teach them the meaning of transubstantiation.
BUT…it means nothing, nothing…unless children learn how to Love, as Jesus taught us how to Love.
Eucharist is the sacrament of this Love. Coming to Mass, we form our church family. Coming to mass, we listen to God’s word of Love proclaimed in Scripture. We hear how this Love brings life to the world.
Coming to Mass we consume that Love in the bread and wine that become the body and blood of Christ.
We consume so that we will be motivated, inspired, changed to love; to be a holy family. To make a choice to love…not just those bound to us by blood; but all those bound to us by the body and blood of Christ, in others words, all people.