Over the course of the year and a half that I have lived in Windsor, I have made several trips down to Indiana to visit my Grandmother, who is 93 years old. She suffers from dementia, and currently lives in a nursing home, not too far from my Aunt and Uncle’s house. It’s often hard to visit my Grandma, because it’s sad to see this once vibrant woman seated in a wheelchair, barely able to follow the conversation going on around her.
As I think about the reasons why I continue to visit her, though, I am reminded of today’s First Reading from the book of Sirach. “My child, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if his mind fails, be patient with him; because you have all your faculties do not despise him.” By continuing to visit my Grandmother, I continue to show her that she is loved, cared for, and appreciated- even if the memory of my visit is gone from her mind just a few short minutes after I walk out the door.
This weekend, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We are reminded in this Feast that the Holy Family is a model for all Christian Families to follow. We are reminded that we are called to show love and respect to all members of our family, and to help all members of our family to walk in the ways of the Lord.
At the same time, this Feast serves as a reminder to us that there are no perfect families. Yes, even the life of the Holy Family was met with difficulty! From the beginning of Mary and
Joseph’s relationship, things were less than ideal. Before Mary and Joseph were married, Mary was found to be with child. Then, once that child was born, the family had to flee to Egypt to escape King Herod!
What is remarkable in all of this is the level of trust that St. Joseph displays through it all. When the angel appears to him to tell him to take Mary into his home, or to flee to Egypt, he
places his trust in the message of the Angel and obeys. In doing so, he shows his willingness to be a loving husband to Mary, and a caring foster father to Jesus.
Joseph’s example is one we are all called to follow. As we place our trust in the Lord, we learn to be more loving and caring towards all those we come into contact with, and we are better able to emulate the example of the Holy Family in our day to day lives, and bring greater honor to God, through the honor we show to our families.