CHRISTMASTIDE: FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Which turns even God into a Holy Family

Today on the first Sunday after Christmas, we honor The Holy Family: Jesus, Joseph and Mary. The miracle of the Holy Trinity is God; He is the relationship of Holy family in his being – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can have that Holy Family ourselves by putting God first just as Joseph, Mary and Jesus did. It is described best in what Jesus tells us about the hierarchy of love:

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.…

Matthew 10:37

That is the paradox of love. If we love God first, we are then able to love others best. Then we are holy and our families can be a holy family as the Holy Family was and is holy. Because the relationship of the Holy Family comes from the Holy Trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet even in circumstances beyond our control, we can still do our best to follow the example of the Holy Family if we understand where their relationship comes from.

In the film, Evelyn, based on a true story, a father is asked in a court room how without a mother he can continue to raise his children properly. What is the precedent?, he is asked. His answer startles courtroom in its simplicity:

Desmond Doyle: There is a precedent, as you’d like to call it.
Prosecutor: What are you saying?
Desmond Doyle: The fundamental building block of our faith is not the Holy family…it’s the Holy Trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When my mother died…my father brought us up on his own…with only the Holy Spirit to guide him. He used to say the Holy Spirit was love. Doesn’t the Holy Bible say, ”…faith, hope and love…but the greatest of these is love”?

film Evelyn

As Chesterton noted in his work, The Everlasting Man, that is the fundamental building block: it is in “the very trinity of the Divine Nature that draws our hearts to the Trinity of the Holy Familysuch turn God into a Holy Family“.

“If the moderns really want a simple religion of love, they must look for it in the Athanasian Creed. The truth is that the trumpet of true Christianity, the challenge of the charities and simplicities of Bethlehem or Christmas Day never rang out more arrestingly and unmistakably than in the defiance of Athanasius to the cold compromise of the Arians. It was emphatically he who really was fighting for a God of Love against a God of colourless and remote cosmic control; the God of the stoics and the agnostics. It was emphatically he who was fighting for the Holy Child against the grey deity of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He was fighting for that very balance of beautiful interdependence and intimacy, in the very Trinity of the Divine Nature, that draws our hearts to the Trinity of the Holy Family. His dogma, if the phrase be not misunderstood, turns even God into a Holy Family.” – G.K. Chesterton †, The Everlasting Man, 1925

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